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Full text of "Gunn's domestic medicine, or, Poor man's friend, in the hours of affliction, pain and sickness : this book points out, in plain language, free from doctors' terms, the diseases of men, women, and children, and the latest and most approved means used in their cure, and is expressly written for the benefit of families in the western and southern states : it also contains descriptions of the medicinal roots and herbs of the southern and western country, and how they are to be used in the cure of diseases : arranged on a new and simple plan, by which the practice of medicine is reduced to principles of common sense"

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NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE 
Bethesda, Maryland 




GUNN'S 

DOMESTIC MEDICINE, 

OR 

POOR MAN'S FRIEND, 

IN THE HOURS OP AFFLICTION, PAIN AND SICKNESS. 

THIS BOOK POINTS OUT, IN PLAIN LANGUAGE, FREE FROM 
DOCTORS' TERMS, THE DISEASES OF 

MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN, 

AND THE LATEST AND MOST APPROVED MEANS USED IN THEIR CURE, 
AND IS EXPRESSLY WRITTEN FOR THE BENEFIT OF FAMILIES IN 

THE WESTERN AND SOUTHERN STATES. 



IT ALSO CONTAINS 

DESCRIPTIONS OF THE MEDICINAL, ROOTS AND HERBS OF 
THE SOUTHERN AND WESTERN COUNTRY, 

AND HOW THEY ARK TO BE USED IN THE CURE OV DISEASES. 



ARRANGED ON A NEW AND SIMPLE PLAN, 

BY WHICH THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE IS REDUCED TO PRINCIPLES) OF 
COMMON SENSE. 



Why should w« conceal from mankind, that which relieves (he distresses 
of our fellow-beings? 



FOURTH EDITION. 



SPRINGFIELD, OHIO. 

JOHN M. GALLAGHER, PRINTER. 
1835. 



'* A 



DISTRICT OF EAST TENNESSEE, KN0XVILLE. 
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the 24th day of July, in the 57th year of the 
Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1832, Doctor John C. Gunn, 
of Knoxville, deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as 
author, in the following words, to-wit: 

"Gu.nn's Domestic Medicine, or. Poor Man's Friend, in the hours of affliction? 
pain and sickness. This book points out, in plain language, free from doctors' terms, the 
diseases of men, women, and children, and the latest and most approved means used in 
their cure, and is expressly written for the benefit of families in the Western and 
Southern States. It also contains descriptions of the medical roots and herbs of the 
Western and Southern country, and how they arc to be used in the cure of diseases :— 
Arranged on a new and simple plan, by which the practice of medicine is reduced to 
principles of common sense. 

Why should we conceal from mankind that which relieves tbe distresses of our fellow- 
beings?" 

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An act for 
the encouragement of learning, by securing copies of maps, charts and books, to the 
authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." 

W. C. MYNATT, 
Clerk of the United States'' District Court, 

for the District of East Tennessee. 



INDEX. 



Page. 

ANGER, - -.. 27 

Ague and fever, *°* 

Apoplectic fits, - " on o 

Asthma, 318 

Abortion, fee. - - jta 

After pains, - - - 459 

Alum root, - - - ~~4 

American Columbo, - - - 550 

American Senna, - - - 556 

American Ipecacuanha, - - 566 

American Centaury, - - - 5/6 

Anodynes, - - °22 

Anti-Spasmodics, - ... k*za 

Amputation, - " ^\t 

Amputation of the arm, ' ^75 
Amputation of the thigh and leg, 

Amputation of the fore-arm, fingers and toes, 080 

Amputation, concluding remarks on, - ^b. 

Accidents, - 

BILIOUS FEVER, - .... 190 

Breasts, inflammations of, 460 

Bone Set, - - 541 

Blackberry bush, common, 544 

Button Snake root, 545 

Balm and Rue, 550 

Blood or Puccoon root, 551 

Butterfly weed, or Pleurisy root, - - - 563 

Blood letting, 593 

COLD BATH, 164 

Colic, .---.-- 200 

Cholera Morbus, &c. 203 

Consumption, 224 

Catarrh or Cold, 274 

Cow pox, or Vaccination, 339 

Clap, - 355 

Cancer, 380 

Corns, - - 385 

Colic, 423 & 483 

Cramp, 426 

Constant desire to make water, .... 427 

Chills, " 459 

Child-bed Fever, 463 



* INDEX. 

Children, diseases of, .... 473 

<( exercises, &c. .... 481 

Constipation, .... 485 

Convulsions or fits, .... 491 

Croup, .... 493 

Cholera Infantum, or puking, &c. - - 497 

Cancer root, Beech drops, - - - - 539 

Common Blackberry bush, ... 544 

Camomile, .... 545 

Columbo, American, .... 550 

Castor Oil, how to make, .... 5S6 

Clysters or Glysters, ... 597 

Classification of medicines, &c. ... 609 

Concussion and Compression of the Brain, - 643 &, 644 

Contusion or Blow, .... 642 

Contused Wounds, .... 651 

Cholera Epidemic, .... 691 

Compound Accidents, - 673 
Catheter, directions for, and method of using, 682 &. 683 

Cessation of the Menses, or Courses, -" 402 

DISEASES OF THE LIVER, - ... 238 

Dysentery or Flux, - 256 

Drinking cold water when overheated, - - 272 

Dropsy, ... 277 

Diseases of women. - _ 387 

Directions for Midwives, • 449 

Diseases of children, - - - . 472 

Dogwood, ..... 522 

Dittany, 537 

Directions for preserving roots, &.c. - - 588 

Dispensatory, &c. .... 609 

Dislocation, ..... qqq 

Dislocation of the lower jaw, - 668 

Dislocation of the shoulder, collar bone and elbow, 669 

Dislocation of the elbow, wrist, fingers, &,c, - 670 

Dislocation of the thigh, - - 671 

Dislocation of the knee pan, leg and foot, - 672 &, 673 

EXERCISE, - - - - 149 

Eruptions of the skin, - 299 

Epileptic Fits, ----- 312 

Ear Ache, ..... 333 

Exercises of children, &.c. - - - . 481 

Eyes, sore, ---'..-.. 488 

Emetics or pukes, .... 610 

FEAR, 22 

Food, - 170 

Fever, &c. ..... 178 

Fits, Apoplectic and Epileptic, - - 309 &. 312 

False pains, ..... 430 

Flooding, - - - - 431 

Faintings, - - - - 458 



INDEX. ' O 

Fits or convulsions, ... - 491 
Fever of children, ----- 496 

Friction. - - - 605 

Fractures of the Lone of the nose and lower jaw, 659 

Fractures of the collar bone. - 660 

Fractures of the arm, and bones of the fore-arm, - 661 

Fractures of the wrist and of the ribs, - - 662 

Fractures of the thigh, * 663 

Fractures of the bones of the foot, - - 666 

GRIEF, 63 

Gravel and Stone, ... - 288 

Great flow of urine, ... 295 

Gleet, - - - - 367 

Gum, the Red and Yellow, - - 483 

Ginseng, ... - 525 

Ginger, - 578 

HOPE, - • - 24 

Head Ache, ... - 328 

Heart burn, - - • 425 

Horse Mint, - - - 577 

INTEMPERANCE, - 100 

Indigestion, or Dyspepsia, - - 215 

Inflammation of the stomach, Intestines, &c. - 261 

Itch, - - 308 

Inflammations, - - - 460 

Inflammation of the breasts, - - - ib. 

Infants, treatment of, - - - 475 

Incised Wounds, - - 647 

Ipecacuanha, - - - 546 

Indian Physic, - - - 565 

Indian Turnip, - - - 574 

Issues, - - - 606 

JOY, - - - - 25 

Jealousy, ... 33 

Jamestown weed, - - 516 

Jerusalem Oak, ... 536 

Jalap, .... 571 

LOVE, ... 45 

Lax, .... 259 

Lock Jaw, ... 378 

Labor, - 439 

Labor, Difficult, - . - 446 

Labor, directions after, - ■ • 454 

Lochia, - 457 

Laxatives, - - - 616 

MUMPS, . 330 

Menses or Courses, - 390 

Menses, obstructed, - - 494 

Midwives, directions for, * - 449 

Milk fever. 461 

Meconium, - - 477 



6 INDEX. 

Measles, - - 503 

Mercury, - * 632 

Mortification, - - 681 

Mav Apple, - - - 53 7 

Manna, - - - 559 

NERVOUS FEVER, - - 194 

ORIGINAL IMPERFECTIONS, - - 478 

Ointment for sores, - - 629 

Opium, ... 579 

PASSIONS, OF THE, - - 21 

Punctured Wounds, - - 649 

Pulse, - - - 182 

Pleurisy, - - - 284 

Palsy, - - - 315 

Piles, - 323 

Putrid sore throat, - - - 325 

Pox, - - 354 

Poisons, - - 369 

Painful affections" of the face, - 376 

Pregnancy, and signs of, - 410 & 415 

Pregnancy, cautions during, and diseases of, 417 &. 418 

Pain in the head, &c- - . - 424 

Piles, - - - 429 

Puccoon root, - 551 

Pleurisy root, &c. - - 568 

Prickly Ash, or tooth ache tree, - - 572 

Peppermint, - - 578 

Pukes or Emetics, - - 610 

Purgatives, active, - - 614 

RELIGION, - - 74 

Remarks preliminary, &c. - - 131 

Rheumatism, - - - 206 

Red Gum, - " 483 

Rue and Balm, - - - 550 

Rhubarb, - " . 56 1 

SLEEP, - " 142 

Scurvy, . " 2Q 1 

Suppression or stoppage of urine, - - 294 

Saint Anthony's Fire, - - 301 

Scald head, - - 303 

Sore legs, " " 321 

Sore eyes, - " - 332 

Small pox, ' _ 342 

Scalds and burns, , 383 

Sickness of the stomach, - - 422 

Swelled legs, - 425 

Stoppage of urine, - 4~7 

Sleep, want of **» 

Swelled leg, 4 ° 2 

Still born, " - 4^3 

Snuffles, - 4tJ2 



INDEX. * 

Swaim's Panacea, 

Sudorifics, ... 628 

Sore eyes, - - " 488 

Scald head, - - 497 

Snake-root, Seneka, - - - 510 

Sassafras, - - 513 

Sarsaparilla, - 514 

Slippery elm, - - 535 

Scarlet fever, - - "°* 

Sage, - • " 549 

Senna, - " - 554 

Sulphurous fumigation, &.c. - - 590 

Stimulants, - - - 619 

Sprains, - - 643 

TETTER OR RING WORM, - - 302 

Toothache, - - - 304 

Twins, - - 447 

Treatment of new born infants, - - 475 

Thrush, - - 484 

Teething, - - - 489 

Tobacco plant, - - - 526 

Tansy, - - - 549 

Tonics, ... 623 

UVA URSI, - - 531 

Urine, great flow of - - 295 

VENEREAL DISEASES, - - 346 

Vaccination, cow pox, - - 339 

WARM OR TEPID BATH, 156 

Whitlow, - - - 337 

Warts, - - 386 

Whites, 405 

Water, desire to make, - - * 427 

Want of sleep, 428 

Worms, - - 505 

White walnut, - - - 560 

Wild cherry-tree, - - - 575 

Wounds, - - 645 

Whooping Cough, - - " 501 

YELLOW GUM, - 483 



INTRODUCTION. 



Man, in the early days of nature, lived in a state of 
health, both in body and in mind: The earth produ- 
ced its fruits for him without culture; there were nei- 
ther irregularities nor inclemencies of the seasons. In 
a state of innocency, and under a mild and clement 
sky. there was nothing to produce disease ; spring was 
perpetual. Protected by the immediate presence of 
the Almighty, and as yet innocent of any violations 
of his law, he was happy in the enjoyments which the 
spontaneous benevolence of nature afforded him. But 
he has been the artificer of his own untoward des- 
tinies. He has transgressed the sacred laws of his 
Creator — and incurred the penalties annexed to his 
own transgressions! His days are now shortened, 
and encumbered with disease; spring is no longer per- 
petual ; for him now, "the earth brings forth thorns 
and briars;'''' and for him the world has been visited 
with earthquakes, sterility, storms, and variations of 
the seasons, which blight the fruits of his labors, and 
bring mortal diseases and fatal maladies on their wings. 

Among the moral causes that have abridged the life 
of man, there is one which merits the attention of the 
philosopher — it is civilization! Civilization, by polish- 
ing man, and depriving him of his primitive rudeness, 
seems io have enervated him: — it seems to have made 
him purchase the advantage, at the expense of a mul- 
titude of diseases and miseries to which the first inhab- 
itants of the world were strangers — and with which 
the savages who only give way to the impulses of na- 
ture are still unacquainted. Man, in associating with 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

his fellow beings in large assemblages, seems in some 
measures to have relaxed the strong ties on his earthly 
existence ; society, by extending the circle of his wants, 
by giving greater energy to his passions, and by gener- 
ating those that are unknown to the man of nature, 
seems to have become a frightful and inexhaustible 
source of calamities. But was not man born for so- 
ciety; did not his individual weakness, and his severe 
and pressing wants, make him abandon at an early pe- 
riod the wandering life he had led in the forests in 
pursuit of game — and associate with his fellow-man? 
Could he not by associating with his fellow-beings, the 
better protect his existence, secure his happiness, and 
expand his truly astonishing faculties? There exists 
no country, in which men are not found in a social 
state; this is the case even in the most remote and 
frightful solitudes, from the Arabian deserts to the Po- 
lar regions. But cannot the social ties of* men be 
drawn too close? Witness our large and opulent cities, 
where the population is immense, and where assem- 
bled multitudes seem to be crowded on each other; 
where, although the comforts and luxuries of life are 
to be found in abundance, the horrors of want are ex- 
treme! Are not these extremes always hostile to the 
social nature of man; are not these large cities contin- 
ually the seats of mortal diseases ; the abodes of crime 
and immorality ; and are not physical and moral de- 
pravity, always the consequences of such enormous ac- 
cumulations of people? 

When men first united, it was in small bodies; and 
they passed their days in innocence and simplicity. 
We should not then be astonished if they were robust, 
and if they then arrived to a great age. They were 
exempt from the greater part of the diseases which 



INTRODUCTION. 



11 



affect us,because they had none but natural wants, which 
they could always satisfy without excess. The bever- 
age of nature quenched their thirst without the aid of 
spirituous liquors, and the friendly hand of nature gave 
them sustenance ; but, in proportion to the increase of 
associations, they generated a multitude of fictitious 
wants, which continually torment us, their offspring, 
and render us unhappy; whence, instead of those sim- 
ple foods which always prolonged life, man has the 
poisons of every chemical and foreign luxury served 
upon his table: and what are the results? Why — pre- 
maturely borne down with infirmities, and devoured 
with remorse, he dies disgusted and exhausted with ex- 
cesses, reflecting on innocent nature, whom he has out- 
raged! The greatest number of diseases and infirmi- 
ties are of our own begetting; because we have in- 
fringed the healthy laws of nature. Fifteen out of 
twenty cases of sickness, are produced by ourselves; 
it is by luxury and scandalous excesses, that we render 
our existence unhappy, and abridge its length. 

Man is a creature of habit ; urged on by the propen- 
sities of his nature ; he not only abridges the period of 
his life, but inflicts on himself the displeasure of his 
Creator. The rising morn, the radiant noon, the shad- 
owy eve, all tell him as they pass, that his temporal ex- 
istence is short, his advance to eternity rapid! 

When we view man in all his bearings and depend- 
encies, we find, and the profoundest philosophers have 
done no more, that he is involved in mystery. The 
greatest philosophers have only discovered that they 
live; but from whence they came, and whither they 
are going, are by nature altogether hidden ; that im- 
penetrable gloom surrounds us on every side, and that 
we can seek in rerelafiou alone, the only source of 



12 INTRODUCTION. 

comfort and explanation. The seasons are a memento 
of life. Spring, breathing into life the, new-born flow- 
ers; Summer, with his genial warmth, ripening his 
luscious fruits ; Autumn, with her golden harvest, be- 
stowing plenty on man: and Winter, with icy mantle, 
sounding the requiem of the departed seasons. First 
comes creeping infancy ; next merry boyhood and aspi- 
ring youth ; then, resolute and industrious manhood ; 
and last of all, decrepit, cold, and declining age ; em- 
blematic of the winter of existence, the shortness of 
human life. 

Behold the changes that have taken place in Ten- 
nessee, and, in the whole western country, within the 
lapse of a few short years! Look for the wigwam of 
the poor Indian, who was once lord of the soil you now 
possess: it is gone, and his bones mingle with the dust 
of his habitation. The storm of enterprising civiliza- 
tion has wreaked its fury on the poor Indian ; his land 
has passed into the hands of the white man; whose 
splendid mansion now rests on the graves of his an- 
cestors. His peaceful forests, once the abode of soli- 
tude and savage life, in which he unmolested traced 
his game, now resound with the festivities of civiliza- 
tion, and the business hum of labor. Those innocent 
and forlorn people, who received our forefathers in the 
spirit of friendship, instead of being fostered by the 
genial hand of civilization, have been driven to the 
feet of the Rocky or Oregon Mountains, and present 
a sad and solitary spectacle of their former greatness! 
In a few more years, the race of the poor Indian will 
be forever extinguished, and his council fires blaze no 
more: the wilderness has been subdued, and the house 
of God has been built, where once ascended the smoke 
of warlike and idolatrous sacrifice; cultivated fields 



INTRODUCTION. 13 

and gardens extend over a thousand valleys in the 
west, never before since the creation reclaimed to the 
use of civilized man; in the enjoyment of civil and 
religious liberty, institutions of learning are hourly 
springing forth, diffusing the light of knowledge, and 
establishing the enjoyments and happiness of the west- 
ern world. A few years since, even within the mem- 
ory of many of the present inhabitants, this immense 
region was a perfect wilderness: the darkened intellect 
of the savage, knew God but in the winds and thun- 
ders ; on every side, the dark foliage of the shadowy 
forest waved in the silent majesty of nature, and her 
noble rivers moved on in silence, with no other com- 
merce than the peltry of the hunter savage. Most of 
these rivers are now navigated by steamers, affording 
the quickest facility of transportation, and the most lu- 
crative commerce; supplying the remote interior of 
our country with the rich products of every foreign 
climate ; our public roads are covered every year with 
the advance guard of civilization, and demonstrate 
what must in a short period be the result, under our 
wise, equitable and politic constitutions of government. 
The tree of peace spreads its broad branches from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific ; a thousand villages are reflect- 
ed from the waves of almost every lake and river; and 
the west now echoes with the song of the reaper, until 
the wilderness and "the solitary place has been glad 
for us, and the desert has rejoiced and blossomed as 
the rose." — God, in the infinitude of his mercy, has 
stored our mountains, fields and meadows, with simples 
for healing our diseases, and for furnishing us with 
medicines of our own, without the use of foreign ar- 
ticles; and the discoveries of each succeeding day 
convince us, that he has graciously furnished man with 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

the means of curing his own diseases, in all the differ- 
ent countries and climates of which he is an inhabi- 
tant. There is not a day, a month, a year, which does 
not exhibit to us the surprising cures made by roots, 
herbs and simples, found in our kingdom of nature, 
when all foreign articles have utterly failed ; and the 
day will come, when calomel and mercurial medicines 
will be used no longer, and when we will be independ- 
ent of foreign medicines, which are often difficult to be 
obtained, frequently adulterated, and always command 
a price which the poor are unable to pay. The yet 
uncultivated wilds of our country, abound in herbs 
and plants possessing medicinal virtues, and probably 
thousands of them, whose virtues and qualities remain 
unknown. The travels of Lewis and Clarke, led to 
high expectations in every branch of science; the ob- 
servations and inquiries of these gentlemen, particular- 
ly of Lewis, were directed, among other things, to the 
diseases and medical remedies of our Indians; and 
they have given a large portion of interesting informa- 
tion on these points. Much, however, is left to be done 
by the wisdom of our legislative bodies on these 
points: for the time is rapidly approaching, when the 
beautiful temple of medical science, will stand divest- 
ed of all quackeries and superstitions, and its re- 
builders be rewarded by the blessings, the gratitude, 
and the admiration of mankind. 

Professional pride and native cupidity, contrary to 
the true spirit of justice and Christianity, have, in all 
ages and countries, from sentiments of self-interest and 
want of liberality, delighted in concealing the divine 
art of healing diseases, under complicated names, and 
difficult or unmeaning technical phrases. Why make 
a mystery of things which relieve the distresses and 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

sufferings of our fellow-beings? Let it be distinctly 
understood, when I speak of professional pride and 
avarice, that I do not intend to cast an imputation on 
all my profession, for want of that heaven-born princi- 
ple charity, to our fellow-beings. On the contrary, 
we are furnished by history, with many prominent ex- 
amples of this divine form of humanity. Hippocrates 
dispensed health and joy wherever he went, and often 
yielded to the solicitations of neighboring princes, and 
extended the blessings of his skill to foreign nations. 
The great Boerhaave did a great deal for the poor, and 
always discovered more solicitude and punctuality in 
his attendance on them, than on the rich and power- 
ful: — on being asked his reason for this, he promptly 
replied — "God is their paymaster." Heberden's liber- 
ality to the poor was so great, that he was once told 
by a friend, he would exhaust his fortune: "no," said 
he, "I am afraid that after all my charities I shall die 
shamefully rich." Fothergill once heard of the death 
of a citizen of London, who had left his family in indi- 
gent circumstances: — the doctor immediately called on 
the widow, and informed her he had received thirty 
guineas from her husband, while he was in prosper- 
ous circumstances, for as many visits ; I have heard of 
his reverse of fortune — take this purse — which contains 
all I received from him — it will do thy family more 
good than it will do me." Similar occurrences of the 
liberality of this great and good man, might be given 
almost without end : indeed it is said, that he gave away 
one half of the income of his extensive and profitable 
business, to the needy and afflicted, amounting, in the 
course of his life, to more than one hundred thousand 
pounds. What an immense interest, in celestial honor 
and happiness, must this sum not produce at the great 



16 INTRODUCTION, 

day of accounts — the general judgment! With vvh&i 
unspeakable gratitude and delight, may we not sup- 
pose the many hundreds — perhaps thousands, whom 
he has fed, clothed, and relieved in sickness by his 
charities, will gaze on their benefactor in that solemn 
day, while the supreme judge accredits those acts as 
done to himself, in the presence of an assembled uni- 
verse! 

But, these good and great men, have gone where we 
must all shortly follow — and are now receiving the 
rich reward of all their virtues, in that kingdom where 
pain and affliction cease. When we trace the powers 
of human intellect, and the monuments of human great- 
ness, and all that genius has instituted and labor ac- 
complished; when we trace these things through all 
their grades of advancement and decline — where is 
the pride of man? Behold in each successive moment, 
the monuments of the rich, the great, and the power- 
ful — tumbling into their native dust — and the hand of 
time mingling the proud man's ashes with those of the 
menial slave, so that their posterity cannot distinguish 
them from each other! When the sable curtain of 
death is drawn, where is the bright intellect of genius 
— and where are those we have loved and honored? 
At the threshhold of eternity, reason leaves us and we 
sink, notwithstanding all our precautions, and the aid 
of distinguished physicians. Yet such is the course of 
nature, that those who live long, must outlive those 
they love and honor. Such, indeed, is the course of 
nature, and the condition of our present existence, that 
life must sooner or later lose its associations, and 
those who remain a little longer, be doomed to walk 
downward to the grave alone and unregarded, with- 
out a single interested witness of their joys or griefs! 



INTRODUCTION. 



17 



It is evident, that the decays of age must terminate in 
death ; — yet, where is the man who does not believe he 
may survive another year? 

Piety towards God, should characterise every one 
who has any thing to do with the administering of 
medicine; nor should any individual ever administer 
medicine, without first imploring the Almighty for suc- 
cess on his prescriptions — for where is the man, who 
can anticipate success, without the aid and blessing of 
heaven? Galen vanquished atheism, for a considera- 
ble time, by proving the existence of a God, from the 
wise and curious structure of the human body. Bo- 
tallus, the illustrious father of blood-letting in Europe, 
earnestly advises a physician never to leave I" - '»ouse, 
without prefering a prayer to ^- J * ^ ia and enlighten 
him. Cheselden, th- lamous English anatomist, al- 
ways impl<^~ a me a ^ and bl essm g of Heaven on his 
hand, whenever he laid hold of an instrument to per- 
form a surgical operation. Sydenham, the great lumin- 
ary and reformer of medicine, was a religious man ; 
and Bcerhaave spent an hour every morning in his 
closet, in reading and commenting on the scriptures, 
before he entered on the duties of his profession. 
Hoffman and Stahl, were not ashamed of the gospel 
of Christ; and, Waller has left behind him, a most 
eloquent defence of its doctrines. Doctor Fothergill's 
long life, resembled an altar from which incense of 
adoration and praise ascended daily to heaven; and 
Hartly, whose works will probably only perish with 
time itself, was a devout christian. To this record of 
these great medical men, I shall add but one remark 
— which is, that the authoritative weight of their names 
alone, in favor of the truth of revealed religion, is suf- 
ficient to turn the scale against all the infidelity that 

3 



18 INTRODUCTION. 

has ever disgraced the science of medicine since its 
earliest discoveries. 

I have seen the flower of life fade, and all its fresh- 
ness wither; I have seen the bright eye of beauty lose 
its lustre; and my last and best friends, close their eyes 
in the cold and tranquil slumbers of death — and have 
said, "where are the boasted powers of medicine, the 
pride of skill, the vain boast of science?'''' — How hu- 
miliating to the pride of man! Let every physician 
put this solemn question to himself: — what will avail 
all the means I can use, without the aid of the Almigh- 
ty? All efforts, founded on years of experience and 
study, vanish at the touch of death ; and, the hold on 
life pio£, acec i D y tne physician, is as brittle and slender 
as that possessea \,j u^ Da tient: — the next moment may 
be his, and those remedies soften used with success 
in the cases of others, will assuredly fan i,w, m his own 
case at last. In some unexpected moment, a wavt i n 
the agitated sea of life will baffle all his struggles ; and 
he, in his turn, will be compelled to pay that debt, 
which nature has claimed from thousands of his pa- 
tients. When on the couch of death, and whilst pe- 
rusing the works of Rousseau, the last words of the 
great Napoleon were, in the language of that author: 
"it is vain to shrink from what cannot be avoided; 
why hide that from ourselves, which must at some pe- 
riod be found ; the certainty of death is a truth which 
man knows — but which he willingly conceals from 
himself" We shall all shortly finish our allotted time 
on earth, if even unusually prolonged, leaving behind 
us all that is now familiar and beloved. Numerous 
races of men will succeed us, entirely ignorant that 
we once lived, and who will retain of our existence, not 
even the vestige of a vague and empty remembrance! 



GUNN'S 
DOMESTIC MEDICINE 



OF THE PASSIONS. 



All the passions of man, seem to have been bestow- 
ed on him by an all-wise Creator, for wise and benefi- 
cent purposes ; and it is certainly the province of human 
wisdom, to keep them under due regulation. In a 
moral point of view, when the passions run counter to 
reason and religion, nationally and individually they 
produce the most frightful catastrophes. Among na- 
tions, if suffered to transcend the bounds of political 
justice, they always lead to anarchy, war, misrule and 
oppression; and among individuals, do we not easily 
trace the same dreadful and disastrous consequences? 
With monarchial and despotic governments, we fre- 
quently see the unruly and ungoverned passions of one 
man, destroying and laying waste, whole empires in a 
single campaign, and with democratical or republican 
institutions of government, have we not frequently 
witnessed the terrific consequences, to moral and poli- 
tical justice, which arise from the disorganizing and 
turbulent passions of the sovereign people. Individ- 
ually and nationally, then, the consequences of misdi- 
rected and uncontrolled passions are precisely the 
same, as regards every thing connected with political, 
legislative, and moral justice. 

But, as it is not my intention to enter into a disser- 
tation on the passions, farther than as they relate to 
man as an individual, and to their influences on the 
state of his physical system, I will first observe, that it 
is of the very highest importance to the healthy action 
of the human system, that the passions should be held 



*<J2 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

in due subjection. If you give way to the passions, 
you destroy the finest of the vital powers: you destroy 
digestion and assimilation; you weaken the strength 
and energies of the heart, and of the whole nervous 
system. The stomach is the workshop of the whole 
human frame, and all its derangements are immediate- 
ly felt in the extremities, and to prove how strongly the 
connection exists, between the stomach and heart, the 
latter immediately ceases to beat, when the powers of 
the former sink and are destroyed. Distress of mind 
is always a predisposing cause of disease; while on 
the other hand, a calm and contented disposition, and 
a proper command over our passions and affections, 
are certain to produce consequences which operate 
against all predisposing causes of disease. Any com- 
plaint arising from great agitation of mind, is more 
obstinate than any occasioned by violent corporeal 
agitation. For instance; eating and drinking, and 
particularly in the case of drinking, disease may be 
combated by rest, sleep and temperance; but neither 
temperance, rest, nor even sleep itself, as every one 
knows, can much affect those diseases which have their 
seat in the passions of the mind. I shall not enter 
into the subject of the passions at full length. 



FEAR. 

Fear is a base passion, and beneath the dignity of 
man. It takes from him reflection, power, resolution 
and judgment; and in short, all that dignity and great- 
ness of soul, which properly appertain to humanity. 
It has great influence in occasioning, aggravating 
and producing disease. It has been a matter of much 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 23 

speculation with me, whether any man is born consti- 
tutionally a coward; — and my decided opinion is, 
that cowardice and courage are generally the effects of 
habit, and moral influence.* I have frequently seen 
brave men acknowledged to be such on great and 
important occasions during the late war, who trembled 
at the mere approach of danger, and acknowledged 
their want of firmness. The great Duke of Marlboro ? 
was once seen to tremble on the eve of battle ; being 
asked by a soldier the cause of it, the Duke made the 
following reply — "my body trembles at the danger my 
soul is about exposing it to?" And does it not appear 
surprisingly singular, but no less true, that a man shall 
be one day brave and the next day a coward. That 
there is a close affinity between the condition of the 
physical system and the passions there can be little 
doubt; the same man who under the influence of 
opium, would brave danger in its most giant form, is 
seen to shrink like a sensitive plant, when deprived of 
that influence. There seems to be a reciprocal exer- 
cise of influence between the body and the mind, 
which by mun i s absolutely inexplicable; but of this 
we are certain, that co T r«x I . , i ce disorders and impedes 
the circulation of the blood; hindors breathing with 

♦Immediately preceding the great battle of Waterloo, on which was about to be 
suspended the great political military destinies of Europe, Napoleon employed a guide 
who was well acquainted with the country, to accompany him in reconnoitering the field 
of battle, and the relative positions of the hostile armies. When the battle commenced, 
his peasant guide, who had never before been exposed to the tumultuous shock of hostile 
armies, manifested strong and decided indications of fear — by dodging from side to side 
at the sound of the shot. Napoleon observed it and taxed him with cowardice, which 
he acknowledged. He then reasoned with him on the absurdity of his conduct. "Do 
you not know," said he "that there is a power infinitely superior to man, who rules and 
governs all, and who holds in his hand our destinies ! If this be true, of which there can 
be no doubt, you cannot die until your time arrives; why then dodge the sound of a ball? 
when you hear it, it lias passed you ; and besides, when dodging the mere sound of one 
shot, you may throw yourself in the way of another." This reasoning had the effect; 
it banished all suggestions of fear, and the guide afterwards rode erect and steady, and 
manifested no indication* of fear. 1 mention this circumstance to show how much we 
arc under the influence of moral power or the force of reason respecting both cowardice 
and courage. 



24 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

freedom ; puts the stomach out of order, as well as the 
bowels ; affects the kidneys and skin, and produces bad 
effects on the whole body — and it may be for these 
and similar reasons, that the ancients elevated courage 
into a moral virtue. Many persons have fallen down 
dead, from the influence of cowardice or fear; and 
can it then be doubtful, that this passion has much 
influence in producing and modifying diseases? I feel 
assured, from practical experience, that in disorders 
that are epidemical or catching, the timid, cowardly 
and fearful, take them much oftener than those who 
are remarkable for fortitude and courage. Napoleon 
was so well convinced of these facts, that when his 
army of Egypt was suffering dreadfully from the rava- 
ges of the plague, in order to inspire his soldiers with 
courage, and to ward off those dangers which might 
arise from the fears of his army, frequently touched 
the bodies of those infected, with his own hands. 
Fear weakens the energy or strength of the heart, and 
of the whole nervous system ; the infectious matter has 
greater power on the frame at this time — consea»««dy 
the system being deranged, loses its he^V action, and 
cannot resist and throw off **»« epidemical disease. 



HOPE. 

Hope! what a source of human happiness rests in 
the pleasures of hope. Man cherishes it to his very 
tomb. Take from him hope, and life itself would be 
a burthen! How wisely has our Heavenly Father 
blended in our cup of misery, soft whispers of our fu- 
ture exemption from its influence. Without hope, how 
wretched, how miserable our existence: what a pow- 



tJUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. Vo 

erful effect it lias, when laboring under pain and bodi- 
ly disorder! It raises the spirits: it increases the ac- 
tion and power of the heart, and nervous system ; mod- 
crates the pulse, causes the breathing to be fuller and 
freer — and quickens all the secretions. It is therefore 
proper and advisable, in all disorders, to produce hope 
in the mind, if you wish to have any chance to effect 
a cure. Is there a being who lives without this balm 
of consolation, this hope of heavenly birth, which tells 
of happier days in bright anticipation! If such are 
the advantages of hope, as to the things of this field 
of thorns and briars — this vale of tears — what may we 
expect from that emotion, when it embraces the cer- 
tainty of enjoying felicity with God in eternity. 

When in ordinary health and engaged in the pur- 
suits of life, hope is attended with many favorable 
effects of a fortunate event, without possessing the 
physical disadvantages: the anticipation of happiness 
does not affect us so excessively as the actual enjoy- 
ment; yet it has frequently produced more benefit by 
its influence on health, than fortune realized. 



JOY. 

Tins is a beneficent passion; it produces an extra- 
ordinary effect, and is of infinite benefit to the consti- 
tution, when indulged in moderation; but, if it should 
be excessive, or very sudden, it frequently does serious 
and lasting injury to persons in good health; and to 
those who are weak, or afflicted with disease, it some- 
times terminates fatally. The following instance of 
the melancholy effects of the too sudden influence of 
joy, will fully exemplify the power of this passion on 

4 



26 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the physical system, even when in health. It may be 
relied on, as it came very nearly under my own obser- 
vation. A gentleman in the State of Virginia, who 
had once been very wealthy, but whose pecuniary cir- 
cumstances had become much depressed, not to say 
desperate, as a last hope of redeeming himself and 
his family from distressing embarrassments, purchased 
a lottery ticket, for which he gave the last hundred 
dollars he could command. The purchase was made, 
under a presentiment, if such it may be called, that a 
certain number would draw the highest prize. All his 
property was then under execution. When the day 
of sale arrived, his father-in-law and himself took a 
walk into the fields, leaving his family much distressed 
with their misfortunes. A gentleman on horseback 
immediately from Richmond, rode up to the house and 

asked for Mr. B , and was directed by his wife 

where he would be found. When the gentleman rode 
up to Mr. B , without exercising the least precau- 
tion, he announced the fact that the ticket had drawn 
one hundred thousand dollars! The effect was such 

as might have been expected ; Mr. B , immediately 

fainted, and was with much difficulty and after many 
exertions, restored, — In the circumstance I have just 
related, the great influence of this passion will easily 
be seen; and I trust it will be as distinctly inferred 
from it, that excesses of joy are frequently as danger- 
ous to the constitution of humanity, as those of grief, 
if not more so. I need scarcely remark here, that to 
persons laboring under disease, as well as to those in 
merely delicate health, joyful intelligence ought al- 
ways to be communicated with much caution. 



Ul'NN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 17 

ANGER. 

"Next anger rushed — his eyes on fire!" — Of this 
most dreadful of the human passions, had I sufficient 
space to allot it, much might be said that would be of 
high importance. There is no passion incidental to 
humanity, an indulgence in which leads to so many 
dreadful, not to say horrid and frightful consequences: 

"To count them all would want a thousand tongues — 
A throat of brass, and adamantine lungs." 

I have before remarked, that all our passions were 
intended by the God of nature, if kept under the con- 
trol of reason and humanity, to be beneficial to the 
happiness of man. This position is demonstrable by 
reason and sanctioned by the highest authority — the 
word of God himself, "who never made any thing in 
vain." It is not the application of our passions to their 
natural, reasonable, and legitimate objects, that consti- 
tutes crime, and cuds in misery and misfortune. No — 
it is the abuse of those passions by unrestrained and 
intemperate indulgence — and the prostitution of them 
to ignoble and disgraceful purposes! Was a noble 
spirit of resentment, for unprovoked and wanton inju- 
ries, ever intended by the God of nature, to degener- 
ate into senseless anger and brutal rage? A noble 
spirit of resentment, upon the strictest moral principles, 
was intended to punish wanton and unprovoked ag- 
gression, and by preventing a repetition of the deed, 
to reform the offender. I am perfectly aware that I 
here occupy a new, but by no means an untenable 
ground. Was the passion of love, the refined solacer 
of civilized life ; the harbinger of successful procrea- 
tive power, the nurse which ushers into life successive 
millions of the human race, ever intended by the God 
of nature to degenerate into brutal lust, and to be 



28 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

followed by a train of venereal diseases which cank- 
ers life at its very core "and visits the iniquities of the 
fathers, upon the children to the third and fourth gen- 
erations?" Was tne deep seated and natural senti- 
ment of self preservation, that essential safeguard 
of man in every stage of his moral existence, ever 
intended to degenerate into that childish, superstitious, 
base, and ignoble passion called fear? Was the 
elevating and ennobling passion of emulation that only 
seeks to rival superior excellence, so honorable to the 
pride of man, and so consonant to the native dignity 
of his soul, ever intended to degenerate into a dastard- 
ly passion of envy, which seeks to destroy by slander 
and defamation, the excellence it has not the honest 
virtue even to attempt to rival? Those who blindly 
decry the legitimate gratification of the human pas- 
sions, although they may do so from what to them 
seems the best of motives, ought to be aware that they 
do not arraign the wisdom of providence, for implant- 
ing them into the human bosom ; and they ought also, 
in all cases, to avoid confounding the natural and 
legitimate uses of the passions, with the abuses of 
their lofty and powerful energies. The passions, con- 
jfined to their native objects, and as I have said before, 
kept in due subjection to the restraints of reason and 
moderation, are essential to the enjoyments, the preser- 
vation, and the happiness of man ; they only become 
dangerous and criminal when permitted to produce 
misrule in the human breast and are placed beyond 
the arbitrium and control of moral virtue, which is the 
true science of human wisdom. 

I remarked in the outset, that there was no passion 
known to humanity, an unrestrained indulgence in 
which was so fatal in its consequences to the peace of 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 29 

society, and the happiness of man, as anger. This 
deformer of the human countenance and character, is 
every where to be found; and its ravages seem co- 
extensive with its existence; in other words, it seems 
to live through all human life, and to extend through 
the whole extent of human society. 

It is even sometimes seen to wrinkle and deform the 
maiden cheek of youthful beauty with a frown! But 
do not my fair countrywomen know, that the passions 
never fail to leave their impress on the countenance, 
and that habitual anger will render them more disgust- 
ing than the witch of Endor? They may be assured, 
and my remarks are not founded on cursory and 
superficial observation, that the more of native beauty 
there is to be found in the female countenance, the 
more easily will it be deformed by the vicious passions, 
and particularly by that demon Anger. The female 
countenance is more expressive of the finer, softer, and 
more amiable passions than that of man ; in other 
words, the female face seems to be formed from finer 
materials, and to have been cast in a finer mould, and 
it is from these causes, that the female face is more 
expressive of the moral feelings, and sooner betrays 
indications of a depraved and vicious temper. The 
stern countenance of man, can assume and maintain a 
fixture of expression, under any circumstances; and it 
is the consciousness of this power, that frequently 
tempts him to play the hypocrite and deluder: — for 
were he conscious that his face would always betray 
the emotions of his soul, he would never even attempt 
to deceive! To the practiced eye of philosophical 
research and rigid scrutiny, no expression of the 
human countenance ever passes unobserved. To such 
an eve all the wiles of the human heart stand unre- 



30 uijnn's domestic medicine. 

ve aled ; nor can any subterfuge of counterfeit expres- 
sion, conceal the reality from its observation. The 
Scripture itself sanctions this doctrine, "JL man shall 
be known by his look — and a proud man by his gait." 
If my fair countrywomen would reflect well on the 
doctrine I have just laid down, they would always cul- 
tivate the softer and more benevolent feelings of the 
heart; and always endeavor to be in reality, what 
they would wish to appear; for they may receive it 
as a valuable truth, not to be controverted by any of 
the artifices of self-deception, that they were never 
formed by the God of nature for deception and hypoc- 
risy: and that the purity and elevation of their moral 
feelings, or the corruptions and depravity of their real 
characters, are as easily distinguished from each other, 
as is the surface of the ocean in a settled calm, from 
that same ocean, when lashed into mountain billows by 
the winds of heaven. 

Do we not see the ravages of this moral curse called 
anger, in every department of society? We see it 
beneath the domestic roof, embittering the enjoyments 
of the rich and poor; laying waste the harmonious 
sanctity of connubial life, and often entailing misery 
and misfortune on a helpless and unoffending offspring. 
But this is not all. We see it manifesting itself in its 
most horrid forms, in our halls of legislation; in our 
seats of legal justice; and even in our elections, in 
which every man ought to be permitted to act with 
perfect freedom, and without the least accountability 
to another. In all our electioneering conflicts, at least 
of late years, we can see the old and disgraceful max- 
im revived and fully acted on: — "those who are not 
for us are against us ;" — as if a man could not exer- 
cise a right of selection, and prefer one man to another. 



GUiWS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 31 

without forfeiting the friendship, and incurring the 
enmity of all the opposite parties. If we would reflect 
correctly on this subject, we would soon discover, that 
personal friendship and personal enmity, ought to have 
nothing to do with the matter; we would soon distin- 
guish that a real statesman, or an enlightened legislator, 
ought to be the mere tool, for factional purposes, of no 
party whatever. The noble and devoted patriotism, 
which gave birth to our truly great political institutions, 
emphatically forbids, that the American people should 
ever sacrifice to the narrow views of party spirit, what 
was destined by the God of nature, for the benefit of 
the human race! This government presents to Eu- 
rope, a spectacle of no ordinary character ; in which 
their statesmen read the future destinies of man, and 
the political fate of nations. We are the only people 
of any age or country, who have organized a truly 
representative government, whose experiments in 
legislation — diplomacy — and arms, are -to settle the 
important question yet undecided, whether the mass 
of mankind can bear the wide tolerations of political 
freedom; and whether man, under any circumstances, 
is capable of assuming and exercising the high prerog- 
ative of self government! For what a stake, then, 
against all the monarchies and despotisms of Europe 
and Asia, are the people and this government con- 
tending; — a stake, as I before remarked, in which the 
whole human race are interested! Before this view of 
the subject, my reader, how do our party squabbles 
and brawls at elections, dwindle down to nothing; to 
less than nothing! God forbid! that I should ever 
seem to turn censor of the age; or assume a dictato- 
rial tone, even in the cause of truth and moderation. 
I have been led into a slight notice of the preceding 



32 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

subjects, by their strong connexion with the moral con- 
dition of man, and his too frequent subjection to the 
ravages of a most devastating, and I had almost said, 
a most damnable passion, which it seems is scarcely 
controllable, by all the energies of reason and moral 
sentiment combined. Anger was never yet an evi- 
dence of justice, a proof of virtue, or a demonstration 
of superior intellect; a mind of elevated endowments, 
will always endeavor to correct its sanguinary impulses 
and to expel its influence. The man of cool reflection, 
sees in its unrestrained dominion, a thousand evils which 
escape common observation. He sees that it frequently 
fills our prisons with delinquents ; that it is sometimes 
the cause of endless remorse; and that it often loads 
the gallows with a melancholy victim! To speak of 
other than moral and religious remedies, for this dread- 
ful malady, would be idle and nugatory. I might tell 
you as a physician, to deluge your heads with water as 
cold as the snows of Zembla ; I might tell you to open 
every vein in your bodies to calm the raging and un- 
governable impulses of anger ; I might tell you that an 
emetic would curb the tumultuous fever of rage, and 
restore you to yourselves: all these remedies would 
produce but a temporary cure; they would be but 
clipping the twigs from the bohon upas, and leaving 
the root untouched/ The only sovereign powers or 
remedies, if you please, which can be efficient in cor- 
recting the evils of anger, must be sought for in early 
education, and in moral and religious principles, 
instilled into the mind at an early period of life. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 33 

JEALOUSY. 

This is a passion, the causes of which have seldom 
been investigated, although the effects of it are every- 
where to be found. The causes of it have generally 
something to do with love; but not always. The cox- 
comb and coquette, both of whom are incapable of 
genuine love, may be powerfully affected by jealousy; 
yet in both these cases, the lady and gentleman have 
only experienced a slight mortification of their vanity, 
and love of general admiration. The wound here is 
not deep, and is generally healed by the consola- 
tory admiration of some other jilt or jackpudding, as 
the case may be. I am not going to speak of the jeal- 
ousy of the warrior, which is sanguinary and daring; 
of that of the diplomatist, which is politic, cunning and 
circumventive ; or of that of the statesman, which is 
embittered by spectres and phantoms of future glory! 
Nor will I trouble myself with noticing the jealousy of 
the poet, which is harmless, though vindictive ; of the 
historian, which is longwinded and untiring in the pur- 
suit of fame; or of the philosopher and man of gen- 
eral science, which is learnedly dull and heavily inves- 
tigative, in the pursuit of truths which eternally elude 
human researches! I shall confine myself to the sin- 
gle subject, of that jealousy which sometimes subsists 
between husband and wife, and which generally ren- 
ders both the objects of public curiosity, compassion, 
or contempt. 

Marriages are contracted upon various principles; 
such as the love of person, the love of fame, the love 
of money, &,c. So soon as the rites and ceremonies 
of marriage are duly solemnised, and rendered matter 
of legal record, the parties individually acquire certain 
rights and privileges, of which it is a breach of the 

5 



34 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



municipal law to deprive them, as well as a violation 
of the Jaw of God. If the love of money induced the 
lady to marry the gentleman, or the gentleman the 
lady, any deviation of conduct, however indecent and 
immoral on the one part, ought never to be complained 
of on the other, provided the true intent and meaning 
of the compact be complied with, in relation to the cash 
itself! The same doctrines apply, in the case of a 
marriage contracted on any other principles. If the 
fame of either of the parties, induces the other to 
enter into the marriage bonds, and there be no other 
stipulation expressed or implied, infidelity to the nup- 
tial bed, profligacy of conduct, and even the most 
indecent deviations from moral rectitude, ought never 
to make a breach between the parties ; the tenor and 
spirit of the compact being complied with, there is 
nothing more to be said. Nor would there be in nine 
cases out of ten, if married persons who are induced 
to captiousness and disagreement, would only be par- 
ticular in calling to mind, the real motives which 
operated in inducing them to marry. If the mere 
love of person, without any considerations relating to 
temper, moral excellence, and intellectual elevation of 
character, were the leading principle which induced 
the parties to bear the yoke of life together, surely 
neither of them have a right to complain of the want 
of excellencies, which were overlooked, disregarded 
and absolutely undervalued in the stipulations of the 
compact. I think this reasoning is fair; and absolute- 
ly too logical to be refuted ; and, as I intend this book 
as a, family museum of useful instruction and advice, 
I trust that what I have so far said on the subject of 
jealousy, and other causes of domestic discontent, will 
have its due weight. What right have parties who 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC >LEDICINE. 



35 



have been improperly matched, or rather those who 
have improperly matched themselves, to disturb the 
peace of whole neighborhoods and communities, with 
their winnings, scoldings, and recriminations of each 
other? Will these proceedings benefit the parties 
themselves? Will these bickerings and brawls, di- 
vorce them from each other? Will their domestic 
disagreements, and their '•'•fisticuff combats" if they 
should happen to be so far advanced in the '•'•sweets of 
connubial love" reflect any respectability or honor, on 
their innocent and unoffending offspring? Will their 
neighbors endeavor to compose their strifes, and hush 
them into peace with a soothing lullaby? No: they 
will in ten cases out of eleven, be gratified at finding 
out, that there are others more miserable than them- 
selves ; and do every thing they possibly can, to inflame 
the contest, by taking sides. Some will take the part 
of the husband ; these are generally the gentlemen of 
the little body politic ; some will take the part of the 
wife; these are generally the lady-peacemakers of the 
neighborhood; and before six months pass round, the 
whole country will be roused to a war of words — and 
resemble "« puddle in a storm" fyc. SfC. 

But, to conclude the subject of this species of jeal- 
ousy, with as much seriousness as it seems to deserve ; 
it may be remarked that the passion is generally found- 
ed on the tales and hints of servants, the surmises of 
tale-bearing gossips, and the malignant inuendoes of 
those who delight in the diffusion of slander and defa- 
mation. There is a class of people in all societies, 
who are seriously afflicted with a disease called by 
physicians "cacoethes loquendV It is a disease that 
is generated between ignorance, petty malignity, and 
restlessness of tongue, which forbids the repose of 



36 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

society: in English, it is the "disease of talking." 
These people have considerable powers of invention; 
but, from their ignorance of the common topics of 
enlightened and manly conversation, they seem to be 
absolutely compelled to lie their way into notice! 
The education of these people, commences at an early 
period of life. When very young, just perhaps able to 
go on an errand to a neighboring house, they are im- 
mediately asked on their return home, as to every thing 
they saw or heard there; their answers are such as 
might be expected, a mixture of truths and lies. 
Finding at length that their parents are interested in 
such tales — they commence with telling Jibs — and end, 
confirmed and malignant liars/ Parents, this is espe- 
cially addressed to you; it is worthy of your most 
serious consideration. 

But, there is a species of jealousy, of a most ma- 
lignant and terrible character, such as that delineated 
by Shakspeare in his Moor of Venice, which some- 
times takes possession of the human bosom, and shakes 
the throne of reason to its very centre. This passion, 
or rather this insanity, seems to me to be founded on 
almost speechless and unbounded love ; a love border- 
ing on absolute veneration and idolatry. This is an 
abstruse and intricate subject, and I freely confess that 
I approach it with unfeigned diffidence. 

There certainly does exist, in the very nature of man 
certain strong sympathies and antipathies, for which 
he is absolutely unable to account on reasoning princi- 
ples; and which, therefore, must be referred to the 
native inspiratiotis of human instinct. These sym- 
pathies and antipathies are every where to be found ; 
nor do I believe there exists on earth, one single indi- 
vidual, male or female, arrived at mature age, who has 



OUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 37 

not strongly felt the influences of these instinctive, I 
will not say unerring principles. They are discover- 
able in our choices of dogs, of horses, of farms; in 
fact, they are discoverable in all cases, where the 
biases of self interest and ambition have no voice ; and 
where nature herself rules the empire of election. 
Doctor Fell once asked Dean Swift, what was the 
reason, after all the advances he had made to concili- 
ate his friendship, that he could not gain him over ; and 
received the following reply, which speaks a volume 
on the subject. 

"I do not like you Doctor Fell, 
The reason why I cannot tell, 
I do not like you Doctor Fell." 

These attractive and repulsive principles have been 
felt by every individual; and the probability is that 
their influence is stronger or weaker, in proportion to 
the warmth or coolness of the human temperament; 
for I hold it to be impossible, that so sensitive a being 
as man, can ever behold an object possessed of any 
strength of character, and feel perfectly indifferent 
respecting it. If these sentiments of attraction or dis- 
gust, existed only in cases where the character of the 
object portended benefit or injury to the beholder, the 
matter might easily be explained, upon the rational 
principle of self interest on the one hand, or of self 
preservation on the other. Such however is not the 
fact; every man knows from his own experience, that 
the first view of an object is pleasing or displeasing, 
attractive or repulsive ; and in fact, an object of attach- 
ment or disgust in some degree, without the least 
relation to the sentiments of self interest or self pre- 
servation. How much stronger, then, must be our 
feelings of attachment or disgust for an object, when 
we know or believe that the character of that object is 



38 ttUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

to determine, under certain circumstances, the happi- 
ness or misery of our whole lives! Parents and 
guardians of the destinies of youth, if you can for one 
moment suspend the delusions which fascinate you 
respecting wealth and aggrandizement, I wish you to 
remember;— that the closer in contact you bring those 
who have no natural affinity for each other, the 
greater and more distant will be the rebound! Have 
you never experienced an emotion of loathing and 
disgust, by being merely in the presence of an object, 
whose native and unalterable character was repugnant 
to yours? In other words, have you never experien- 
ced a moral nausea of all the sensibilities of your 
nature, by being compelled to an association with a 
being whose feelings, whose sensibilities, whose very 
modes of thinking, spoke a language abhorrent to your 
souls! If you have, you can form some idea of the 
irresistible repulsions, which sometimes influence the 
conduct of persons in the married state; freeze the 
few and cold affections which habits of enforced asso- 
ciation may have produced; and which seldom fail, 
sooner or later — either to make them unfaithful to 
each other, or to separate them forever. — This is not a 
threadbare dream of the imagination, a mere chimera 
of the fancy; the affections of mankind are absolutely 
beyond their control. How often have you seen instan- 
ces in which the purest and strongest sentiments of 
parental duty, and all the efforts of reason herself, have 
been unable to overcome a repugnance to the marriage 
bond. Was this apparent contumaciousness the off- 
spring of wilful disobedience, and a fixed design to 
thwart your intentions of bestowing connubial happi- 
ness on your child? no — it was the struggle of nature 
herself in deep distress ; it was the last effort she could 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 39 

make, to prevent the violation of one of the most 
sacred of her laws! 

Seeing then, as I think has been clearly demonstra- 
ted, that human affections are not under our control, 
at least so far as to be influenced by sentiments of duty, 
or admonitions of reason, are we not to presume, from 
the great variety of motives which influence many to 
enter the marriage bond, that thousands are badly 
paired and worse matched? I think so; and those 
who doubt the fact, for their own satisfactory convic- 
tion of error, will do well to investigate the real causes, 
of so much domestic discontent as is every where to be 
found; of so many quarrels and connubial bickerings; 
and finally, of so many divorces. I assert it to be the 
fact, and it will be supported by the experience of thou- 
sands, that wedlock is a perfect hell, and the worst one 
we know of on earth, even when surrounded by all the 
splendors of wealth and trappings of power, if it is not 
hallowed by human affections — and I assert further, 
and am in no way apprehensive of experimental con- 
Iradiction, that where wedlock is consecrated by fixed 
and virtuous love, it is and must be a source of high 
enjoyment, even surrounded by the hardships, priva- 
tions and daily sufferings of labor and drudgery. I 
have often been surprised, on going into some of our 
cabins on the frontiers ; there was the meat hanging in 
the chimney; the bread-tray on the only table; the 
straw bed on a rude frame ; the blankets and counter- 
panes about the floor, from which perhaps a dozen or 
less of healthy, ruddy children had just risen; there 
was the corn in the crib, the cow standing with her 
head in at the door, and the meal bag under the bed.- 
Great God, I have said to myself, is it possible that 
wedded love can exist in such a place as this! But I 



40 GUIVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

was soon undeceived ; the whole enigma was solved 
satisfactorily: it had been a marriage of pure and vir- 
tuous love untrammeled by the calculations of avarice, 
the meanness of false pride, and the groveling aspira- 
tions of petty ambition. 

On the other hand, I have frequented the mansions 
of the great, the wealthy and the powerful ; where, sur- 
rounded by luxury and wealth, and reclined at ease on 
a gilded sopha, love might have held a court superior 
in splendor and magnificence to that said to have been 
held in the fabled mansions of Jove! What did I see? 
I saw discontent, suspicion and prying distrust, lower- 
ing in every eye. I saw that the hearts of the inhabi- 
tants of these splendid mansions were estranged from 
each other. I saw the servants in varied liveries, gli- 
ding in solemn silence from room to room; nor did 
one sound of cheerfulness or festivity, break the dull 
monotony of this splendid solitude ; this gilded, carpet- 
ed, and festooned hell of wedded misery! I saw the 
owners of all this wealth and waste of luxury, take 
their solitary meal; for nature had denied them off- 
spring, in revenge for a violation of her laws. They 
approached the festive board, which was loaded with 
luxuries of every climate, with eyes averted from each 
other. No social converse; no interchange of thought 
or sentiment, enlivened the cold and hollow splendor 
of the scene. The servants in attendance helped them ; 
even the common forms of superficial politeness were 
unobserved; nor did they recognize the presence of 
each other, unless in stolen and hateful glances. They 
seemed to sit on thorns ; and no sooner was their mis- 
erable repast ended, than the one betook himself to 
the gaming table, and probably the other to her 
paramour. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 41 

These two delineations of life, are not mere visions 
of the fancy ; they are to be met with in every country. 
They prove conclusively, that marriages contracted 
from improper motives, arc always followed by conse- 
quences destructive to human happiness and the best 
i i Men sis of mankind. All the conflicts, discontents 
and jealousies of the married state, may be traced to 
improper motives for marriage or improper conduct 
offer it. Perhaps there is one exception; which I 
shall name. The husband sometimes becomes jealous 
of the wife, and the wife of the husband, where there 
is no infidelity on either side ; from a mere conscious- 
ness of being unworthy of an attachment. Cases of 
this character frequently occur; and it may generally, 
if not in every instance, be laid down as a fixed and 
settled principle in human nature, that where there is 
no positive demonstration of connubial delinquency, 
the party disposed to suspicion and jealousy, derives 
these surmises of deviation, from the simple fact of a 
consciousness of being too depraved to be an object 
of love! I am aware that this is a severe and degra- 
ding sentence, against those who entertain causeless 
suspicions ; but the opinion is not less true than severe. 
The following is the routine of reasoning, usually ob- 
served by a man about becoming jealous of his wife. 
"This woman arrests much of the public attention. 
She is every where well spoken of. In all public 
assemblies, where I am considered a mere shadow, 
she commands the most unbounded respect, and I 
view every compliment paid to her beauty and accom- 
plishments, as an indirect satire on myself. I am un- 
doubtedly her inferior in every thing; and particularly 
in sensibility and intelligence. 1 am conscious of my 
own meanness and depravity; she possesses too much 

6 



42 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

perspicacity and penetration, not to have discovered 
my real character — and cannot love me, — I saw her 
bowed to in the street; she returned the compliment 
with a smile. Yesterday, from my neglect and inat- 
tention, a gentleman of fine appearance and command- 
ing manners and address, handed her to her carriage; 

she thanked him for his polite attentions — by h n 

she never did love me! At Mrs. Fidgett's ball the 
other night, she attracted general attention; her chair 
was continually surrounded by gentlemen of figure, 
compared with whom I felt myself a mere cipher ; a 
gentleman bowed politely to her in passing, — angels 
and ministers defend me! It was the gentleman who 
handed her into her carriage — and I am no more 
thought of — I am a lost man forever." Man of fanci- 
ed miseries and imaginary cuckoldom, behold your 
portrait! This is the light in which the world beholds 
you. 

Having now in some measure accounted for the 
passion of jealousy, which is unfortunately too preva- 
lent in this country, I will conclude the subject by 
some general remarks. 

The marriage compact is entered into for two pur- 
poses. 1st. The happiness of the parties themselves ; 
2d. The rearing and educating properly, the off- 
spring of the marriage contract. The principles of a 
genuine attachment, such as ought always to be found 
in wedded life, can never exist in any degree of per- 
fection, unless there is a natural affinity between the 
parties — in temper, disposition, passions, taste, habits 
and pursuits of mind. When this congeniality is abso- 
lutely and entirely wanting, the parties will gradually 
and almost imperceptibly become estranged from each 
other, and finally experience the influence of indiffer- 



GUNJVS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



43 



ence, and more probably of settled and confirmed 
hatred. In this event, if our laws would sanction the 
practice, and if there were no offspring to provide for, 
it would be much more consonant with justice and 
expediency, that the parties could separate and else- 
where form new and more agreeable engagements. It 
certainly is worse than useless, to compel persons to 
associate together, and that too in the most close and 
intimate manner, when they are mutually actuated in 
relation to each other, by sentiments of hatred and 
contempt. According to the present state of things, in 
relation to divorcement, the person wishing a release- 
ment from the marriage bond, must first become pub- 
licly and notoriously infamous; or resort, as has 
been proved by the several late executions of malefac- 
tors, to the dreadful alternative of murder. What a 
terrible lesson do these late executions hold out to 
society, on the subject of marriage, and the absolute 
necessity of its being based on genuine love. 

Many persons marry who only fancy themselves in 
love! A little Master or Miss, who would have been 
well employed in reading the fables in the spelling- 
book, gets hold of the "Sorrows of Werter," or 
Rousseau's "Eloisa" — or Petrarch's "Laura," or some 
other work of the same character, in which unfortu- 
nate love is delineated in the colors of the rainbow, 
and leads its unfortunate and most melancholy victims 
to whoredom and suicide/ With a head full of such 
trash, and a heart as tender and susceptible, as a beef- 
steak that has been well beaten for the gridiron, noth- 
ing will do the little gentleman or lady but the very 
fact of falling in love; and that too, with the very first 
object which presents itself. Papa and mamma are 
cruel: they will not assent to the match and the event 



44 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

is probably an elopement. Then comes the appalling 
discovery that the lady is not quite a goddess, nor the 
gentleman entirely a demigod ; then comes the discove- 
ry, that they are badly paired, and infinitely worse 
matched ; the gentleman becomes tired of the lady, and 
the lady of the gentleman; and finally, their papas and 
mammas have to take them home and support them. 
I have known many instances of this kind, which 
clearly prove, in addition to what I have noted above, 
that marriages ought to be predicated on natural con- 
geniality of character, and as far as possible, sanctioned 
by the exercise of reason and reflective power. 

I have mentioned the rearing and education of off- 
spring, as duties annexed to the married state. How 
can such elevated and responsible duties be performed 
by persons who are disqualified even from regulating 
their own conduct, so as to set a correct moral exam- 
ple? I am very willing to admit, that teachers of much 
ability are every where to be found ; but no influence 
can possibly act on the infant and youthful mind in the 
formation of future character, with half the force, depth 
and durability of impression, as that derived from the 
precepts and example of parents: and I presume it will 
be admitted, that those who are destitute of the capaci- 
ty to make a judicious selection of partners for life, are 
scarcely capable of forming the infant mind. The 
wives of the Greeks and Romans and their domestic 
regulations, were truly the nurses and the nurseries of 
those two great races of statesmen and heroes. The 
best biographers of Washington, whose moral, political 
and military life, presents the noblest portrait of man 
to be found on the records of time, ascribe much of 
the purity, elevation and patriotism of his character, to 
the sound judgment and intellectual energy of his moth- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 45 

or. The influence which the manners, example and 
precepts of a mother, exercise over the intellectual 
dawnings of the youthful mind and passions, can 
scarcely be appreciated by men of the most acute and 
profound observation ; a proof of which, in addition to 
the millions of others which might be adduced, may 
be inferred from the remarks made by the illustrious 
and greatly unfortunate captive of St. Helena, on the 
moral and intellectual qualifications of his mother. 

The truth is, and I mention it with no ordinary sen- 
timents of regret, that the education of females in the 
United States, is not only viewed in too unimportant 
and contemptible a light, but that it is absolutely dis- 
graceful to the spirit of our institutions and the 

REAL GENIUS OP THE PEOPLE. 



LOVE. 

This is one of the master passions of the human 
.soul, and when experienced in the plenitude of its 
power, its devotions embrace with despotic energy and 
uncontrolled dominion, all the complicated and power- 
ful faculties of man. It was implanted in the human 
bosom, for the noblest and most beneficent of purposes, 
and when restricted to its legitimate objects, and re- 
strained within due bounds by moral sentiment, may 
be called the great fountain of human happiness. No 
passion incidental to humanity embraces so vast a space, 
and such an infinite multiplicity of objects; — it com- 
mences in the cradle with tender emotions of filial 
attachment and veneration for our parents; it animates 
and accompanies us through all the chequered vicissi- 
tudes of life, attaching itself to every object which can 



46 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

afford us enjoyment and happiness, and finally, in ac- 
companying us to the last resort of the living, it con- 
centrates all its pure and sublime energies at the great 
fountain of existence, the throne of the living god. 

Like all other elementary principles of human na- 
ture, its essence baffles the keenest researches of philo- 
sophy and science; and its existence can only be 
recognized by a consciousness of its presence, and the 
effects which are manifested in every department of 
life, by multiplied exhibitions of its energies. It attach- 
es the infant to its parent, and the domicil of its earli- 
est days of helplessness and dependence: it attaches 
the youth to the objects of his playful years, to the 
companions of his innocent and festive mirth, and to 
the first objects of his youthful fancy. Without its 
animating influence, as concentrated on objects of true 
glory, the hero would degenerate into a poltroon, the 
statesman into a political driveler, and the patriot into 
a mere citizen of the world, without friends^ — without 
home — and without those endearing and sacred tics, 
which bind us to our native land ! The beneficent and 
heavenly aspirations of love, are every where to be 
found ; they bind the solitary and warlike savage to his 
native forests; the Moor, the Arab and the Negro, to 
the burning plains of the torrid zone; the Russian, the 
Swede, the Norwegian and Laplander, to the snows 
and glaciers of the polar regions, and the courtly and 
civilized European and American, to the refinements 
and comforts of the more temperate regions of the 
globe. Without local, relative or personal attachments, 
man would be eternally discontented with his condi- 
tion; he would become, like Cain, a fugitive and a 
vagabond upon the face of the globe ; in fact, the deep 
foundations of domestic and national society would 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 47 

soon, be broken up, and scattered to the winds of heav- 
en, were it not for the strong attachments of man for 
the objects among which he is placed. 

If you require proofs of the truth of this universal 
doctrine of love, ask the parent what price would induce 
him to part with his children; ask the husband of a 
woman of elevated and noble character, what sum in 
gold or jewels he would consider equivalent to her value ; 
ask the savage what would induce him to abandon the 
dangers of the chase, and the deep and silent solitudes 
of nature, and to reside in your crowded cities, amidst 
the hum of business and the confusion of assembled 
multitudes. Ask the Samoiede, and Laplander, what 
would induce them to exchange the fogs and snows of 
the north, for the mild and balmy temperature of coun- 
tries presenting eternal spring and unfading verdure? 
They will tell you that they love their parents, their 
children, their friends, their country. Man, unlike the 
inferior animals of creation, is indeed the citizen of 
every climate; and, his capacities of forming local and 
relative attachments, are as varied and extensive as the 
powers by which he overcomes difficulties, and forces 
nature to yield him the comforts, conveniences and 
positive enjoyments of existence. 

Philanthropy, or love of our species, is founded on 
favorable perceptions of the purity, the beneficence, the 
elevation and the true dignity of the human character; 
nor did ever an individual, of any age or country, be- 
come a confirmed misanthrope, but from contrary per- 
ceptions of human nature. A man who is naturally a 
hater of his species, without having had his character 
soured by the deceptions, frauds and oppressions of 
mankind, is by nature cowardly, timid and selfish. 
Nothing great, patriotic, or disinterested, can be expect- 



48 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ed from such a man ; he is cruel, vindictive, avaricious^ 
fraudulent and roguish in the extreme ; he only seems to 
have been placed among mankind as a sort of stand- 
ard of meanness and demerit, by which we are ena- 
bled to measure and duly appreciate the elevation of 
character and dignified virtues of other men. There 
are various degrees of misanthropy, in a descending 
scale from that which characterized the mind and feel- 
ings of "Timon of Athens," downward to the mean, 
sordid, and exclusive self-love, which manifests itself in 
taking all possible advantages of mankind, for the hoard- 
ing and accumulation of ill-gotten wealth. These 
pigmy misanthropes, or haters of mankind on a petty 
scale, are every where to be found. They are the 
scoundrels who, in all societies, cheat and swindle upon 
every occasion ; they are the men who will sacrifice, or 
in other words, purchase at half its value, on an execu- 
tion sale, the little property of the needy, and who would 
not scruple to rob the widow and the orphan of the little 
that sickness and misfortune had spared them. You 
will see these swindling vagabonds, adding hypocrisy 
to their petty villainies, by making an absolute mockery 
of religion itself, at the communion table. That insa- 
tiable avarice is a disease of the mind, there can be no 
doubt, and that this disease requires a moral treatment 
of cure, there can be as little question. If these men 
would reflect on the brevity of human life; if they 
would consider that their ill-acquired wealth must soon 
pass from their possession, and that death will unload 
them at the gates of eternity, surely they would soon 
discover the folly, impolicy, and heinous immorality of 
such a course. 

The passion of love, properly so called, or that 
strong and indissoluble attachment which frequently 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 49 

exists between the two sexes, is one of the noblest and 
most powerful emotions that ever animated the human 
bosom. As I remarked before, under the head of 
jealousy, this pure and elevated attachment, is the great 
solacer of human life; the harbinger of successful pro- 
motive power; the precursor and nurturerof success- 
ive; millions of the human race; the great moral 
parent of all the numerous races of men to be found 
in every climate of the globe. It is the native of every 
country that has been invaded by the enterprise of man, 
and is found to bloom and nourish in perfection wher- 
ever man has fixed his habitation. It finds a congenial 
soil in the booth of the hunter, the hut of the savage, 
the tent of the wandering Arab, the leafy bower of the 
African of the Gambia, as well as in the haunts of 
civilization and the palaces of kings. 

As I have remarked under another head, there exists 
01 the human bosom, certain instinctive sympathies 
and antipathies, which we are unable to control, either 
by the force of moral sentiment or the efforts of reason ; 
and which are absolutely inexplicable by all the boast- 
ed powers of human genius. The existence of these 
instinctive principles, are only known by our own con- 
sciousness, and the powerful and decisive effects they 
are known to produce. No two human beings, espe- 
cially of different sexes, and more especially if their 
affections were unengaged by previous prepossessions, 
were ever yet in the presence of each other for any 
length of time, without experiencing the force, in a 
greater or less degree, of the sympathy or antipathy 
before noticed. When the attraction is mutually strong, 
the parties soon become conscious of a congeniality of 
temper, disposition, tastes and sensibilities; this sympa- 
thetic attraction has bv some writers on the subject, 

7 



50 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

been denominated Hove at first sight:' When on the 
other hand, the physical, moral and intellectual char- 
acters of the parties, are essentially and radically differ- 
ent from each other; in other words, and in more fash- 
ionable phraseology, when the natural characters of 
the parties are the antipodes, or direct opposites of 
each other, the repulsive powers of natural antipathy 
are so strongly experienced, as to produce involuntary 
hatred, if not fixed and unalterable sentiments of con- 
tempt and detestation. I am thus particular in giving 
my opinions on these subjects, not only because I know 
that their correctness will be sanctioned by the actual 
experience of thousands, but because I trust they will 
be of service to many, in disclosing the extreme danger 
to human happiness, which invariably arises from uni- 
ting those to each other, by merely artificial and factitious 
ties, whom God and nature have put asunder. By 
opposition of native character, I mean a plain and 
palpable dissimilitude of temperaments, taste and intel- 
lectual and moral pursuits. Can physical and moral 
beauty, be in love with physical deformity, and moral 
depravity of character? Can wisdom and intelligence 
be in love with folly and stupidity? Innocence and 
spotless purity, with guilt and corruption ? Virtue with 
vice? No! 

"Vice is a monster, of such (rightful mein, 
That to be hated, needs but to be seen." 

I am willing to admit and believe it to be strictly 
true, that persons who are characterized by vice, cor- 
ruption, guilt, stupidity, folly, moral depravity, or per- 
sonal deformity, may form strong attachments to persons 
of diametrically opposite characters: — this would be 
but admitting what every person knows ; that vice and 
imperfection, under ail their various forms and char- 



CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 51 

acters, if endowed with the common faculties of percep- 
tion, must and always will pay involuntary tributes of 
respect, veneration, and such love as they are capable 
of experiencing, to virtue and moral purity wherever 
found. The love of the depraved and immoral portion 
of mankind, is precisely such as may always be expect* 
ed from such characters; it is selfish, base and ignoble; 
utterly devoid of tenderness and consideration for the 
object beloved, it is precisely such love as the wolf bears 
for the lamb; or the fox for the hen-roost! It has 
always been matter of much astonishment to me, that 
females of refined sensibility, lofty sentiments of moral 
virtue, and high orders of intellectual power, should 
expect a reciprocation of pure and virtuous love, from 
the scum and dregs of society, the oflf-scourings of 
brothels, and the hoary and depraved veterans of the 
gaming table! They might as well, I think, and with 
much better hopes of success, attempt to extract candor 
from confirmed hypocrites, honor from thieves, and 
humanity from highway robbers. There is no way of 
solving this enigma, that I know 7 of, but by supposing 
that women of virtue and honor are incapable of dis- 
tinguishing the particular claims which these gentle- 
men have to their detestation and contempt; or by 
presuming that they always, by the aid of their imagina- 
tions, invest the characters of such men with factitious 
virtues, which have no existence; for I cannot suppose 
they can truly love them, and yet be fully acquainted 
with their intrinsic characters. The strength and qual- 
ity of an attachment, must certainly depend, in a great 
measure, on the physical and moral qualities of the 
object beloved, and on the capacities of a lover to per- 
ceive and appreciate those qualities. I am perfectly 
convinced, and that too from experience, that a woman 



52 gunn>s domestic medicine. 

of moral purity of character, never excites the same 
impure sentiments and base passions, that are produced 
or excited by a female of a contrary character, and 
whose countenance and deportment betray indications 
of immoral habits and loose desires. There is some- 
thing of immaculate purity; something of the very 
divinity of virtue, in the countenance and deportment 
of a woman of chaste desires, elevated moral senti- 
ments, and cultivated intellectual powers, that represses 
the low-born suggestions of lust and depravity, and 
awes all the vicious passions into cowardly submission 
to the dignity of female perfection. No man, however 
vicious and depraved in his habits and pursuits, ever 
yet had the impudence and audacity to contemplate the 
deliberate seduction of an accomplished and beautiful 
woman, unless he were under the influence of a species 
of libidinous insanity; had formed a contemptible 
opinion of the female character, or had discovered 
some vulnerable part in her armour of chastity and 
virtue. 

Few women, and I mention the fact with much 
regret, are proof against the thrilling suggestions of 
vanity, the allurements of flattery, and the fascina- 
tions attendant on a passion for general admiration; 
they ought early to be taught by their parents and 
preceptors that true pride, which is in reality dignity 
of character, is always hostile to the foolish and dan- 
gerous suggestions of vanity ; that flattery, called by 
an old and quaint writer, "the oil of fool," is a direct 
and positive insult ; and that a female passion for uni- 
versal admiration, especially in the married state, is 
hostile to domestic peace and absolutely at war with 
connubial enjoyment and happiness. 

That flattery is an insult, is evident from the fact 



GIJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 53 

that no flatterer ever yet ventured upon the practice of 
his art, without first concluding that the object of his 
addresses was a fool; the truth is, that flattery is 
always addressed to our personal vanity, which in 
plain language means, a strong propensity to an over- 
estimate of our own merits and perfections. Manly and 
dignified pride, has always been found a specific 
against the frivolous passion of vanity, and hence it has 
been frequently said, that a man or woman may be too 
proud to be vain; the fact is that vanity is the false 
and empty pride of fools! Napoleon intended much 
when he expressed himself thus to some of his friends, 
"I had hoped and expected that the French were a 
proud nation, but I have found by experience that 
they are only vain." The passion for universal admi- 
ration is the distinguishing and strong characteristic of 
a coquette; it is the offspring of personal vanity, begot- 
ten upon coldness of temperament, ignorance and 
folly. A coquette, in the female world, is what a cox- 
comb is among men, a being void of sentiment, sensi- 
bility and intelligence, and utterly incapable of genuine 
love. 

The marriages of both coquettes and coxcombs, in 
conformity with the coldness and shallowness of their 
characters, are always predicated on other principles 
than those of attachment to the object. They are 
absolutely incapable of feeling the soft refinements, the 
elevated sentiments, or the deep-toned energies of real 
love; those people are never in danger of suffering the 
tortures of a broken heart, nor can they experience 
either much happiness or any considerable degree of 
misery in the married state. The love of general 
admiration is their master passion ; and whenever this 
is the case, it is impossible that a concentration of 



54 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

affections can take place, and be exclusively directed 
to a single object; fire can never be produced from 
the separated and scattered sun-beams, they must bo 
concentrated by a convex glass, called a lens, before 
they can be rendered sufficiently intense to produce 
warmth, heat and combustion. The love of general 
admiration, was wisely implanted in the human bosom, 
and for the best of purposes ; but wherever it gains the 
full possession of the female breast, it freezes all the 
domestic and conjugal affections, and sometimes leads 
to jealousy and discontent, with all their dreadful train 
of consequences — in other words, and I wish the sen- 
timent to make a well-merited and indelible impression, 
the married man who can prefer the admiration of 
other women to that of the wife of his bosom, is a 
traitor to all the hallowed solemnities of the marriage 
compact, and a cold and calculating violator of the 
laws of God! Nor, on the other hand, is the married 
woman less a traitress to connubial love, to the honor 
and happiness of her husband and family, and to the 
best interests of society and domestic enjoyment, who 
can prefer the shallow and superficial admiration of 
fools and coxcombs, to the deep and devoted attach- 
ments of a husband, who would not scruple to make a 
sacrifice of life itself to insure her happiness. 

"Woman alone was formed to bless 
The life of man, and share his cave; 
To soothe his breast, when keen distress 
Hath lodged a poison'd arrow there." 

I have mentioned, that persons of diametrically op- 
posite physical, moral and intellectual characters, could 
never assimilate with, and become strongly attached 
to each other, notwithstanding the powerful attractions 
of the sexual instinct. By opposite natural and ac- 
quired characters, I do not mean mere contrasts of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 55 

mental and corporeal disposition and characteristics. 
I cannot otherwise disclose my precise meaning, re- 
specting things which are direct opposites, and those 
which are only contrasts of each other, than by citing 
the example of colors. Black and white, for instance, 
are the opposites of each other, and when placed in 
juxtaposition always pain the eye; but, either of those 
colors, when compared with any other of the primitive 
colors or even shades, are only considered contrasts. 
St. Pierre, in his studies of nature, has been explicit on 
this ingenious and novel subject, which is certainly 
worthy of much consideration. There seems to exist, 
between persons of opposite physical characters, a 
decided indifference as regards sexual communication ; 
or if not a decided and entire indifference, there cer- 
tainly does not obtain between them, that arduous and 
passionate sexual propensity, which is found between 
persons who are the contrasts of each other. I have 
remarked in innumerable instances, the strong attach- 
ments which existed between persons of contrasted 
complexions, contrasted colors of the eyes and hair, 
and especially of strongly contrasted stature and di- 
mensions ; and I have no doubt, that the reader of this 
new, if not very interesting part of my reflections, will 
recollect very many instances, of the existence of mar- 
riages voluntarily entered into from the strongest of 
possible attachments, between persons who in point of 
stature and size, were perfect contrasts of each other* 
Ask a tall, robust and athletic man, what sort of a 
wife he would choose; and you will very soon ascer- 
tain that his choice would fall on a female, the con- 
trasted reverse of himself In fact, you will always 
find on inquiry, that a lean man prefers a woman of 
size and rather large proportions — a short man, a 



56 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

woman of lofty stature, and so on to the end of the 
chapter of contrasts in personal character. The 
gigantic and brawny Roman warrior, Mark Anthony, 
fell in love with the sylph-like and fairy form of Cleo- 
patra the celebrated queen of Egypt, who was remark- 
able for being of very diminutive proportions, though 
very beautiful; in fact, thousands of such instances 
might be cited from both ancient and modern history. 
The contrast of physical proportions and character, 
united in the marriage bond, seems to have been inten- 
ded by providence, to equalize the breed of mankind, 
and to prevent them on the one hand from running up 
into a race of giants, and on the other from degenera- 
ting into a strain of diminutive and contemptible pig- 
mies. 

But on the subject of contrasts, that is not all ; con- 
trasts in moral and intellectual qualities, seem to be 
equally favorable to love; and here again I am com- 
pelled to resort to figurative language to convey my 
meaning. There are concords and discords in music: 
perfect concords always fall on the ear with a dull and 
cold monotony; whilst perfect discords always grate 
harshly on the auditory nerves, producing exquisite 
sensations which are still more unharmonious and 
disagreeable. It will not be necessary to say much on 
this subject of moral and mental contrasts; I only sug- 
gest, that the reader may make his own observations, 
respecting this singular anomaly in the human charac- 
ter. We know perfectly well, that persons of moder- 
ate intellectual powers, both male and female, provided 
their tempers and dispositions be gentle and amiable, 
are invariably the objects of love and the most tender 
regard, with those who possess uncommonly lofty and 
powerful characteristics of genius and intellect. This 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



57 



fact is even so notorious in all societies, as to have be- 
come a proverb; and, how often have we all seen 
instances in conjugal life, in which fortitude has been 
united to despondency — fickleness and inconstancy of 
resolution, with the most unshaken and resolute tena- 
ciousness of purpose — timidity with consummate bra- 
very — and the highest order of moral courage, with 
the shrinking cowardice of superstition and childish 
ignorance. We know these to be facts, and can only 
account for them on the great scale of divine wisdom 
and providence, by presuming them to be intended for 
equalizing the human species in wisdom and moral 
energy — and for forming additional and indissoluble 
bonds in the social compacts of mankind. 

I have several times mentioned, and I think demon- 
strated, as far as the force of facts and moral reason- 
ing will go, that the passion of love is measurably in- 
voluntary, and beyond the control of moral sentiment 
and reason ; nor can there I think exist any doubt, not 
only that the strength of the passion depends on the 
peculiar temperaments of individuals, but that the dis- 
tinctive characteristics of the passion or emotion 
called love, are essentially connected with the physical, 
moral and intellectual qualifications of the objects or 
persons beloved. If, then, the strength of the passion 
is in any proportion to the natural temperaments of 
individuals ; and if its peculiar qualities or characteris- 
tics depend on the natural and acquired qualifications 
of the objects of attachment, how ridiculous, absurd, 
and perfectly irrational it must be for any man or 
woman to expect, that he or she can possibly be an 
object of attachment, with any person of rational and 
scrutinizing mind, on account of qualifications which 

are not possessed, and which in fact, are known and 

8 



5$ GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

perceived to be entirely wanting. I mention the sub- 
ject in this way, and place it in this light, in order to 
prevent the exercise of hypocrisy between the sexes, 
which is always dangerous in its consequences— and 
in order, also, that those whose happiness in life de- 
pends on their being --objects of esteem, friendship, ven- 
eration, attachment and love, may see the absolute 
necessity of deserving the homage of such refined and 
virtuous sentiments; in other words, that they may be 
deeply impressed with the important and eternal truth, 
that candor, honor, and moral virtue, are the great 
passports to human happiness. I have often witnessed 
the tremulous solicitude of females, of the most amia- 
ble and exalted qualities of person and mind, respect- 
ing the public opinion of their merits and character, 
and frequently been interrogated by them on the sub- 
ject. In these cases, I have uniformly answered in the 
words of an old Grecian sage, "know thyself;" and 
your opinions of yourself, if correct and well founded, 
will be precisely such as are entertained for you, by 
those whose esteem and approbation are of any im- 
portance. Genuine and rational love, commences in 
the natural, and if I may be allowed the expression, as 
applicable to human nature, the instinctive sympathies 
of individuals for the society of each other ; it is cemen- 
ted and powerfully strengthened by the endearments of 
sexual enjoyment, of which I have before spoken ; and 
it is crowned with both temporal and immortal dura- 
tion, by the mild purity and unfading lustre of the 
moral virtues, and the imposing splendors of genius 
and intellectual power. As I said before, it is confined 
to no particular climate, and to no exclusive region of 
the globe; its benign influence is experienced, as well 
among the polar snows of the north, as in the mild 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 59 

climates of the temperate zones. It is the exclusive 
guest of no particular rank in life: the rich, the poor, 
the exalted, the hase, the brave, are alike participant 
in its genial warmth, and heavenly influence. In the 
words of Lawrence Sterne, "no tint of words can spot 
its snowy mantle, nor chemic power turn its sceptre 
into iron ; with lone to smile upon him as he eats his 
crust, the swain is happier than the monarch, from 
whose court it has been exiled by vice and immorality." 
This is that undebascd and genuine love, which is 
founded in unlimited confidence, mutual esteem, and 
the mild sublimities of virtue and integrity of charac- 
ter. It illuminates the countenance with the sparkling 
brilliancy of soft desire; and is in fact, the safeguard 
of female virtue, and of chastity itself, whenever as- 
sailed by unprincipled and seductive fascination. 

With respect to the passion of love, there is a com- 
mon error of female education, which will also apply 
to the early instruction of males, of which I must speak 
in plain terms in the conclusion of this subject. Eve- 
ry human being, at a very early period of life, from 
peculiar modes of instruction, and the examples pre- 
sented to the mind, forms some idea of the qualifica- 
tions which constitute human excellence. If for in- 
stance, at an early period, the parents and instructors of 
a female impress upon her mind, that the mere decora- 
tion of the person will render her an object of tender 
regard, without the cultivation of her moral and intel- 
lectual qualities, the result will be, and it cannot be 
avoided, that aiming at what she believes, to be the 
great excellence of the human female character, both 
her moral and intellectual energies will retrograde into 
barrenness and insipidity: in other words, she will be- 
rome what the world denominates a pretty woman, 



60 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the idol of fools and coxcombs, but an object of com- 
passion, indifference or contempt, with men of lofty 
sentiments and distinguished characters. Peter the 
Great of Russia, on account of her superior intellectual 
endowments chose for a wife, and made her Empress 
of Russia, a woman of obscure and lowly origin. 
And in more modern times, I had the information from 
a person well acquainted with the facts, we find the 
spirit, discrimination and sound judgment of Peter the 
Great respecting the value of a woman of a cultivated 
mind, revived in the person and character of Lord 
Morgan. Sidney Owenson, his present wife, was the 
daughter of a comedian on the Dublin Stage. At an 
early period this youthful female discovered strong 
traits of genius of a literary character, and Owenson, 
though in impoverished circumstances, determined to 
educate his daughter. He did so; in consequence of 
which, she became an object of strong attachment with 
a man of distinguished mind, who preferred her to the 
titled and the rich, and she is now lady Morgan. 

Mrs. Hamilton, a lady of some celebrity, who has 
written much on female education, makes the following 
remark on women: "where there is no intellect, there 
is no moral principle ; and where thejre is no principle, 
there is no security for female virtue." This is the 
truth, but not the whole truth: had Mrs, Hamilton re- 
cognized religion as an essential requisite in preserving 
the moral virtues of women, she would probably have 
said all that was necessary on female education. The 
accomplishments of women, ought always to have some 
relation to their future duties in life; but it is evident, 
that the cultivation of their minds, cannot with justice 
to themselves and society be dispensed with, no matter 
what may be their future destinies. A cultivated mind 



CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 61 

is a never-failing passport to the best society ; it always 
insures the extension of friendship and civility, when 
accompanied by correctness of conduct and a virtuous 
deportment; it prevents women from becoming the 
dupes of artifice ; and the victims of seduction ; it ex- 
pands the heart to all the principles of sympathetic feel- 
ing for the distresses of others, and induces a commise- 
ration for the misfortunes of mankind 5 it holds up to a 
distinct and scrutinizing examination, the real charac- 
ters of men, and enables a woman to make a judicious 
selection of worth, from a herd of coxcombs and fools, 
by which, if wealthy and distinguished by personal 
beauty, she may be persecuted with addresses. It fits 
her for the superintendence and regulation of a family, 
and enables her to make correct educational impres- 
sions on the minds of her offspring. 

The want of mental culture, among females of all 
ranks in life, has frequently led to disastrous consequen- 
ces. By mental culture, I do not mean those shallow 
and frivolous accomplishments which are sometimes 
taught at boarding-schools ; nor do I mean by a refine- 
ment of the female mind, a proficiency in drawing 
roses which resemble a copper coin, in thrumming a 
waltz on the piano, or fidgeting through the lascivious 
gesticulations of an Italian or French fandango! I 
mean by mental culture, the acquisition of solid accon> 
plishments; those which can be rendered useful to 
domestic policy, be an example to society in the correc- 
tion of its morals, and reflect honor on the national 
character. Such an education always represses the 
waywardness of the fancy, and lops away the useless 
and often dangerous exuberance of a powerful imagina- 
tion; it affords a never failing resource of comfort in 
solitude, and finds a healing balm for the wounds of a 



62 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

wayward and unfortunate destiny. In fine, no woman 
possessed of a judicious education, even under the pres- 
sure of the most trying misfortunes, ever yet lost the 
just equipoise between her strength and sensibility, or 
became the victim of a broken heart! 

The exquisite miseries which spring from disappoint- 
ed love, and sometimes terminate in a broken heart, 
(for I am well persuaded there is really such a disease,) 
always arise from visionary creations of the fancy, and 
disorders of the imagination: in other words, they are 
the offspring of over-strained and imaginary concep- 
tions, of the qualifications of the object of attachment • 
they are in fact, the melancholy results of an over- 
estimate of the virtues and perfections of human nature ; 
of which the woman of a cultivated mind, and really 
philosophic acquisitions, stands in no possible danger. 
A woman who cultivates her imagination, by the un- 
limited perusal of novels and romances, at the expense 
of the solid qualities of her understanding, is always 
in danger of becoming the victim of a wayward fancy ; 
and, should she live to have the errors of her imagina- 
tion corrected by practical experience, will have noth- 
ing of the imagination left, but the ashes of a consumed 
sensibility, on which no future attachment can possibly 
be predicated. A woman of cultivated mind, sees 
objects as they really are — and not as they are clothed 
by an inflamed and disordered fancy; she knows that 
human nature is not perfection itself, and expects noth- 
ing from it, but what appertains to the natural charac- 
ter of man ; she knows it to be a compound of weakness 
and strength, virtue and vice, wisdom and folly — and 
never over-estimating the virtues and perfections of an 
object of attachment, her desires are chastened by 
moderation, and her lores by the high-toned philoso- 



UlLNIS'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 63 

phy of true wisdom ! Such a woman, unlike the melan- 
choly victim of a morbid sensibility, and a high wrought 
and disordered imagination, is in no danger of sinking 
into the diseased apathy of disappointed love, and 
becoming the victim of partial or total insanity, or a 
disconsolate and broken heart; for which all the mere 
medical remedies known to human genius and science, 
are but miserable and inefficient palliatives. Religion, 
change of scenery, and attractive and interesting com- 
pany, in some cases have considerable influence in 
detaching the mind from the concentration of its reflec- 
tions on an object of deep and vital love; but, in the 
more numerous instances, they have all been known to 
fail, and even to baffle all the efforts of friendship and 
parental attachment. In fact, it seems to me, and I 
have paid much attention to the subject, that judicious 
education, and a well cultivated mind, acting as pre- 
ventatives to the disorders of the imagination, are 
almost the only and powerful specifics, against the 
occurrence of the miseries of disappointed love. 



GRIEF. 

Tins depressing affection of the mind, called a 
passion, when experienced in the extreme, sometimes 
degenerates into confirmed melancholy, despair and 
fatal insanity. It is the offspring of so many and such 
various causes, that it is next to impossible to enume- 
rate them. It is sometimes caused by cheerless and 
gloomy presentiments of the future; sometimes by the 
heavy pressure of present evils and calamities; and not 
unfrequently, fey strong and vivid recollections of losses 
which can never be retrieved. Against its inroads and 



64 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE; 

often fatal effects on the health of the physical system, 
(which are varied according to the temperament and 
character of the individual,) neither the internal nor 
external exhibition of medical drugs can have much 
avail. 

The force and effect which grief exercises and pro- 
duces, in deranging the functions of the physical sys- 
tem, seem in a great degree to depend on the poignancy 
and acuteness of those sensibilities which characterize 
the nervous system. Where the nervous system is 
tremulously sensible, and easily susceptible of external 
impressions, which is generally the case with persons 
of distinguished genius, there is invariably found a 
constitutional melancholy, which delights in retrospec- 
tions of the past, and serious, if not cheerless anticipa- 
tions of the future. At an early period of life, these 
persons are highly susceptible of the charms of nature, 
and also of her more gloomy and sombre scenery ; and, 
being deeply sensible of the influence of what to other 
men would be slight impressions, their feelings always 
exhibit themselves in the extremes of animation or de- 
pression of spirits, for which they themselves are utterly 
unable to account. In fact, it is not unusual to witness 
in the varying sensibilities of these persons, and that 
too in the lapse of a single day, the reflective calmness 
and profundity of the great southern Pacific Ocean-— 
the urbanity and cheerfulness attendant on anticipations 
of future prosperity and happiness — and those storms 
of ungovernable and unsubdued passions, whose undu- 
lations resemble the mountain billows of the Atlantic, 
when lashed by the hurricanes and tornadoes of the 
torrid zone! This is not only the constitutional tem- 
perament of true and unsophisticated genius, of which 
so much has been said, and so little known, but it is 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



65 



also the soil which produces sensations of exquisite 
happiness and misery ; distinguished principles of mor- 
al rectitude and depravity of conduct; great virtues 
and great vices! 

Seriousness, depression of spirits, melancholy, grief, 
despair, insanity, are but the different modifications of 
the same passion, or predisposition of the moral facul- 
ties, of whose essence we in reality know nothing ab- 
stractly, only differing in degree of force and effect, in 
proportion to the strength and weakness of operating 
causes. For instance; seriousness and solemnity of 
feeling, are always produced in a mind of sensibility 
and reflection, by the sight of a dead body; of the 
human limbs lopped away in battle; of the human 
mind in ruins; and of human misery exhibited to us 
under any form: in these cases the effects produced 
are only temporary, and usually pass away with the 
removal of the objects which excited them. If, how- 
ever, serious and solemn feelings be often reproduced 
in the mind, by reiterated exhibitions of objects capa- 
ble of exciting them, their impressions will become 
more durable, and soon produce a habitual tone of 
feeling, denominated depression of spirits. When 
this depression of spirits is habitually indulged in for 
any considerable lapse of time, it is apt to gain so great 
an ascendency over the active and resolute powers of 
the mind, as to dispose the person affected with its in- 
fluence, to seek in solitude and retirement from society, 
an indulgence in inactivity, irresolution and gloomy 
reflections, which, becoming fixed and as it were im- 
moveable, settles down into melancholy. Seriousness, 
depression of spirits, and melancholy, sometimes pro- 
duce mental derangements ; but they are generally of 

a harmless, unobtrusive, silent, and inoffensive charac- 

9 



66 GLNN'S DOMESTIC MEDlCftfNK. 

ter, where the nervous system is tremulous and exceed- 
ingly delicate— or where the temperament, if I may be 
allowed the phraseology, is characterised by weakness, 
irresolution, and timidity. 

Compared with the above affections, which seem at 
first view to have their seat in the imagination, and by 
some are denominated hypochondria in men, and hys- 
terics in woman— grief and despair are certainly 
affections of a more active and powerful character, and 
much sooner ending in fatuity or mental exhaustion, 
and outrageous or confirmed insanity. 

As I have somewhere mentioned, and the probability 
is that the fact will be acknowledged by all well-informed 
physicians, by which I mean those who have discover- 
ed how little can be essentially known on the subject 
of affections of the mind, the particular and direct 
influence which these, and other strong passions have 
in deranging the organization of the brain, cannot well 
be ascertained. All we know about the matter is, that 
we cannot think with accuracy and profundity of re- 
search, without a well-organized brain, and that any 
derangement of that organization and its natural func- 
tions, produces coequal and coextensive derangements 
of the intellectual or mental powers. The probability 
is, that refined, susceptible, and strong organizations of 
the brain, considered in the aggregate, have much in- 
fluence in imparting to the mind, those refinements of 
taste, suceptibilities of feeling, and superior intellectual 
capacities, which we call genius, for want of a term 
which can be more clearly understood. We are per- 
fectly aware, that without a well-organized eye, no defi- 
nite or accurate ideas can be formed of colors — forms 

dimensions — distances: that without a well-organized 

and susceptible ear, no clear and distinctively correct 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 67 

impressions can be made, by what we call sounds, or 
vibrations of the air, for want of a more expressive 
term, on the auditory nerves: that without a well con- 
structed nasal organ, vulgarly denominated a nose, no 
clear and distinct impressions can be made on the 
olfactory nerves or nerves of smelling, by the effluvia 
arising from bodies: that, unless the portions of the 
nervous system which are incorporated with the tongue 
and its appendages, be unobstructed by malconforma- 
tion of the organs of taste, no distinctions of flavor 
could be recognized, between sugar, gall, and vinegar ; 
and that unless the nerves which are spread over the 
cutaneous surface of the body, and particularly that of 
the hands, be perfect both in organization and tone, no 
adequate or correct ideas could ever be formed of the 
shape, solidity, <Slc. of bodies, with which we come in 
immediate contact. The fact seems to be, and I consi- 
der the theoretical conjecture inferior to none which 
has been published by medical men, that whenever the 
affections of the mind derange the tone and susceptibil- 
ity of the senses, these derangements always bring to 
the censorium, or focal point of mental impression, 
incorrect and distorted ideas of external objects, which, 
as in hypochondria, make us believe in the existence 
of phantasmagoria of a most childish and superstitious 
character. This is a species of insanity, connected with 
unnatural and painful seriousness — habitual depression 
of spirits — and confirmed melancholy. 

On the other hand, when afflictive impressions are 
made upon the mind, of an unusually active and pow- 
erful character, and sufficient to impair and partially 
destroy the organization itself, as in the cases of in- 
tense and poignant grief, or absolute and hopeless 
despair, the partial dissolution of the physical struc- 



OO GIJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ture and organization of the brain, it is not improbable, 
leads to offensive, mischievous, and terrific insanity, 
amounting to absolute phrensy, and finally terminating 
in dissolution. The fact is, and it is well known to 
physicians, that a dissolution of the organic structure 
of the frame, if that dissolution take place in any vital 
organ, particularly the brain or stomach, between 
which there exists a close and almost identical sym- 
pathy, decidedly morbid effects are produced to the 
whole system — physical, moral and mental; in fact, 
the brain may be called the father, and the stomach 
the mother of the system. 

I have only as yet spoken of the influence which is 
produced upon the physical functions and system, by 
the passion of grief, and other strong affections of the 
same or a similar character. The same effects as 
those produced by the passions above enumerated, are 
sometimes the offspring of other causes, not connected 
in the first instance, with the passions, but which after- 
wards operate strongly upon them, and assist in destroy- 
ing the nervous, vital and moral functions and organi- 
zation of the system. We know perfectly well, for 
instance, that there are many substances which, when 
taken into the stomach, affect the passions strongly by 
irritation and excitement — produce morbid derange- 
ments of the physical functions — and not unfrequently, 
moral and mental alienations. The effect of tincture 
of cantharides on some of the passions, when taken 
into the stomach, is perfectly well known; nor do I 
believe, that if its application to the stomach were long 
continued, it would ever fail to produce morbid irrita- 
tions and inflammations, which would terminate in 
functional derangement, and actual dissolution of organ- 
ic structure in the brain. The effect which opium pro- 



GIJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 69 

duces, where it is used in immoderate quantities, as 
among the Turks, is well known; and that it not 
unfrequently ends in derangements of the physical sys- 
tem, and absolute insanity with all its horrors. Nor 
is the intemperate use of spirituous liquors, used to such 
excess and in such immoderate quantities in our own 
country, far behind the use of opium, in producing the 
same deleterious effects on the brain, through the me- 
dium of the stomach. Every man who will tax his 
recollections, will find his memory furnished with innu- 
merable instances, in which a long train of physical 
diseases has been followed by derangements of the 
intellect, which none of the boasted powers of science 
or medicine could relieve or rectify, merely from the 
immediate use, or rather abuse of spirituous liquors. 
Have we not all witnessed instances, in which the 
abuse of spirituous liquors has produced visceral ob- 
structions of a most deadly character — and mental 
derangements which have been confirmed and render- 
ed durable to the end of life? How is this fixed and 
confirmed mental alienation to be accounted for, but 
upon the presumption that those stimulants, long con- 
tinued, affect not only the nerves, but the organic struc- 
ture of the brain? Do we not know that a fit of 
intoxication is a paroxysm of mental derangement — 
and that impressions often reiterated will wear their 
channels in the brain, injure its unrivalled and delicate 
organization, and render those effects durable? What 
are the effects which immediately follow a fit of exces- 
sive intoxication? Are they not the very same as those 
produced by the influence of the passions of which I 
have before spoken? Arc they not seriousness, de- 
pression of spirits, melancholy, grief, despair, insani- 
ty? This is the point at which I intended to arrive. 



70 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

I intended to demonstrate in a plain and simple man- 
ner, that disease, insanity and death, are produced as 
well by moral as by physical causes ; and that a phy- 
sician ought to ascertain both the state of the body and 
mind, if he really intends to effect a cure or removal 
of the class of diseases just mentioned. I know it to 
be a common practice with physicians, to listen to long 
details of the physical symptoms of their patients, with- 
out the least inquiry as to the moral or mental causes 
of their diseases; when the fact is, that in five cases 
out of ten, arising among persons of sedentary, refined, 
luxurious, studious, and intellectual habits; and among 
delicate females, in seven cases of disease out of eleven, 
particularly those which are obstructional, the causes 
will be found seated in the mind and passions. I need 
not enlarge on this subject; every man possessed of 
any experience and common sense, must have observed, 
both on himself and others, the remarkable effects pro- 
duced on the physical system by the mind and passions ; 
nor can such an individual be ignorant of the fact, that 
deleterious substances when taken into the stomach, fre- 
quently operate with immense power on the passions, 
as well as on the organic structure of the physical sys- 
tem. The truth is, that although we are well convinced 
of the intimate connexion of the mind and body, and 
also of the reciprocal influence they always exercise 
alternately over each other, no man has ever yet been 
able fully to develop the mysteries of that connexion, 
or the natural mediums by and through which they 
operate on and influence each other; in other words, 
all we certainly know respecting the matters under con- 
sideration, must be confined to the effects daily and 
hourly witnessed, in the reciprocal and varied action of 
the mind and its passions, and the body and its affec- 
tions, on each other. 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 71 

When morbid derangements of the system are de- 
rived from the action of the mind and passions, the 
consolations of religion and philosophy are of great 
importance; because they teach mankind, in a language 
not to be misunderstood, that cheerless and gloomy 
presentiments of the future, only unfit us for combating 
and vanquishing present difficulties: that the heavy 
pressure of present evils, and calamities which are 
irremoveable, are lightened of half their ponderous 
and depressing influence, by that masculine fortitude 
which is derived from the inspirations of wisdom, and 
that celestial hope of relief which springs from genu- 
ine religion: and that it is the height of human folly 
and weakness, unavailingly to mourn over losses which 
can never be retrieved! When the causes of our 
diseases and miseries are connected with physical prin- 
ciples in some degree under our control, it becomes a 
moral duty, so far as it be possible, to remove them — 
and that too by physical means: and I am decidedly of 
opinion, generally speaking, and a few individual cases 
which might be enumerated left out of view, that moral 
causes of disease and misery are to be combated by 
moral means — and that physical causes of functional 
derangement, and violations of organic structure deri- 
ved from such causes, are to be combated and over- 
come by physical means. I am perfectly willing to 
admit, that the influences of the imagination, and of 
the animating passions, are very considerable in pre- 
wiring disease, and removing obstructions when not 
firmly seated; but I am not willing to allow, that either 
the imagination or the animating passions, can ren- 
der flexible the coats of an ossified artery, or remove 
a si ori<' from the bladder! The fact is, that the line of 
demarcation where moral causes cease to operate, and 



72 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

where the influence of physical ones commences, is a 
mystery hitherto too profound and inscrutable for the 
boldest efforts of human genius. We are well aware 
that many malconformations of the human fetus take 
place previous to birth, such as in cases of hare-lip, 
external impressions on the skin, &c. but at what period 
of gestation such malconformations and external im- 
pressions cease to be made, it is absolutely impossible 
to conjecture with even a probability of truth. 

The following case of the powerful effects of imagi- 
nation, put by Doctor Cypricanus, is recorded in this 
work, to place pregnant females on their guard, and to 
exemplify the effects of the imagination on highly sus- 
ceptible materials. "A female child," says this distin- 
guished man, "was born with a wound in her breast 
above four inches in length. It penetrated to the mus- 
culi intercostales, and was an inch broad, and hollow 
under the flesh round about the wound; besides which, 
there was a contusion with some swelling, at the lower 
part of the wound inside. The child came into the 
world without any violence; and consequently it did 
not receive the wound in its birth ; it was caused by the 
strength of the imagination; for, about two months 
before, the mother had by chance heard a report that a 
man had murdered his wife, and with his knife had 
given her a great wound in the breast — at which rela- 
tion she changed, but not excessively. It is not merely 
probable, but absolutely certain, that the child received 
the wound in its mother's body, at the very moment she 
was affrighted; because the wound was very sordid, 
and the inside as well as the outside beset with slime, 
proceeding from the water in which the child lies in its 
mother's womb — besides which, it had every appear- 
ance of an old wound." 



GCJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 73 

The effects of grief, which is an extremely depress- 
ing passion, and its morbid influences on the body or 
physical system, are very remarkable. It diminishes 
bodily strength in general, and also the action of the 
heart in particular. It impedes the circulation of the 
fluids, stagnates the bile invariably, and occasions in- 
durations of the liver; or by throwing the bile into the 
circulation of the blood, it produces jaundice or dropsy* 
Grief also diminishes the perspiration, renders the skin 
sallow, aggravates the scurvy; and is particularly 
effective in producing and aggravating putrid fevers: it 
also disposes persons to being easily affected with fever, 
arising from excessive irritability, or constipation or 
costiveness of the bowels. Its effects in changing the 
color of the hair are well known ; and many instances 
have occurred, in which the hair has been turned firkin 
a deep black to gray in a few hours. From grief, 
blindness, gangrene, and even sudden death, or as it is 
emphatically called, a broken heart, have not unfre- 
quently resulted. From the excess of this passion, 
persons who indulge in melancholy reflections for any 
length of time, become peevish and fretful ; and so ex- 
tremely irritable, that their minds find new food for 
sorrow in every object presented to them. Thus the 
whole imagination becomes seriously affected with con- 
firmed melancholy, sometimes producing nervous fevers, 
or what is still more dreadful, total insanity. The 
remedies usually resorted to with salutary effects, are 
gentle opiates taken with caution; exercise on horse 
back ; — change of scene ; the use of the swing, which 
has in very many instances produced signally beneficial 
effects ; friction of the body and limbs with flannel or a 
flesh brush — this friction ought to be frequently resort- 
ed to and continued, to give impetus to the blood, when 

10 



74 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the extremities become cold; washing the body with 
strong vinegar, &c — Mild wines temperately adminis- 
tered may be given, and should they produce acidity of 
the stomach and loss of appetite, exercise and other 
tonics ought to be resorted to — change of climate is 
often in desperate cases found beneficial, also a diver- 
sion of the mind from its original imaginations, and par- 
ticularly the frequent use of the tepid bath is recommen- 
ded: and in cases of suppressions of the menstrual 
discharge occasioned by grief, the tepid bath has inva- 
riably been found beneficial. The powerful influence 
of the mind upon the womb, when affected by grief, 
can scarcely be computed by the best observers; who 
generally attribute to merely physical causes, effects 
which are to be sought for in the mind. But more 
will be developed on this important subject, as regards 
female diseases, under another and more appropriate 
head. 



RELIGION. 

This passion or affection of the human mind, pro- 
perly defined and well understood, is a deeply devo- 
tional sentiment of awe, veneration and love, for that 
inscrutable Being who created the universe in his 
wisdom; supports it by his almighty power; and 
regulates the machinery of nature, in beneficence 
and love to his creatures. 

Considered merely in relation to his vital and ani- 
mal functions, man seems to occupy the highest point 
in the scale of animated nature; but notwithstanding 
this distinguished elevation, with some grand and 
distinctive exceptions to the general principles of exis- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 75 

tence, and those of a strong and decided character, he 
seems in many respects to be allied to the inferior 
orders of creation. Like the merely animal orders of 
nature inferior to himself, he is animated by loves and 
friendships, hatreds and enmities, — and by all the other 
passions and propensities, incidental to the merely 
animal creation. In common with the elephant, the 
lion, the dog and the fox, his heart seems to be the seat 
of life or vitality, and his brain the censorium of intel- 
lectual existence! Like them he is furnished with a 
stomach to digest his food — and a heart to propel the 
vital fluid through the arterial and venous systems. 
Like the inferior orders of creation, man is suscepti- 
ble of the influence of heat and cold, and all the varia- 
tions of temperature incidental to the changes of the 
seasons ; like them he can be deluged by rains, frozen 
by the snows of winter, and melted by the heats of 
summer. Like them he is subjected to physical dis- 
eases, which can be mitigated or removed by the same 
means,- and like them he is animated by strong senti- 
ments of self-preservation, and entertains an instinctive 
and powerful dread of both pain and dissolution! But 
here the parallel between man and the inferior orders 
of creation terminates; and he begins to take his 
departure from their earth-born level, which they can 
never emulate or even follow. 

Man is the only animal in creation, who can raise 
his contemplations to the Deity, and experience a 
sublime sentiment of awe and veneration, for the un- 
known author of his existence. The only animal in 
creation, capable of experiencing a strong solicitude 
for a knowledge of his own origin, or who can direct 
his views and anticipations to a future existence, beyond 
the boundaries of time! He is the only being absolute- 



76 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ly known to himself who can form a conception of 
space, which is an abstract idea of infinity, of time, 
which is an abstract conception of eternity; or of 
plastic and creative power, which leads to an abstract, 
but infinitely inadequate conception of the omnipo- 
tence of god! Man seems to unite in his moral and 
intellectual composition, the human extremes of strength 
and weakness, wisdom and folly. In infancy, or when 
not associated with his fellow-beings, he is a naked, 
defenceless, dependent and timid animal; exposed to 
diseases of every multiplied character — -to dangers be- 
yond arithmetical computation — and to death in all its 
varied and gigantic forms: yet, with all these incipient 
weaknesses, and seeming imperfections of his nature, 
in the plenitude of life and intellectual power, and when 
associated with his fellow-beings in social compact, he 
has satisfied his natural wants ; rendered himself inde- 
pendent of every thing but his creator ; driven from 
his presence, enslaved to his purposes, or destroyed by 
the machinery and chemical power of his warlike 
inventions, all animals hostile to his life and his preser- 
vation; and compelled the earth, the air, the waters 
and the woods, to yield him the sustenance and even 
the luxuries of life, and to furnish him with the means 
of constructing his habitation. He has done more. 
By referring his knowledge of particular facts, to the 
discovery of abstract and general principles, he has 
measurably unfolded the elements of science ; by which 
he measures the earth, and discloses the laws which 
regulate the solar system: — ascertains the distances 
and relative positions of the heavenly bodies; and 
determines the location of his own globe among them: 
— discloses the component parts of which the substra- 
tum of the earth itself is compounded, and by an effort 



<;r\N\S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 77 

of microscopic vision and profound sagacity, gives you 
a satisfactory analysis of a physical atom! Nor is this 
all: from obscure and imperfect original discoveries in 
nautical science, he has converted the bark canoes of 
the wandering savage into vehicles of burthen for inter- 
national commerce, and imposing engines of war ; and, 
instead of the petty barks of the ancients, by which 
they prosecuted an insignificant traffic along the shores 
and inlets of the Mediterranean, he has constructed ships 
of bulk and strength sufficient to master the winds of 
heaven and the waves of the ocean: — to discover and 
colonise new continents: and to make his way in secu- 
rity, through trackless, unknown, and almost shoreless 
oceans, to countries so remote as not even to be found 
in delineation on the mariner's chart! Nor do the 
greatness of his discoveries, nor the sublime elevations 
of his character, terminate here. The progressive 
improvements of man in literature, from hieroglyph- 
ics, which are the signs of things, to the use of 
letters, which arc the signs or symbols of sounds, afford 
new and astonishing demonstrations of his powers. 
We have proofs before us, if we will advert for a mo- 
ment to the present state of mankind, of all the pro- 
gressive stages of improvement, through which he has 
passed, in arriving at his present state of moral and 
intellectual civilization, and scientific and literary 
refinements : nor need we recur to the empire of fable, 
nor the fictions of his early history, to arrive at the 
truth. A collective view of the present inhabitants of 
the globe, will furnish ample demonstrations of the 
following facts. In a state of savage and illiterate na- 
ture, tradition, as among the Indians of our own for- 
ests afforded the only means of communication, between 
the present and future races of mankind. But, in 



78 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

proportion as man began to progress in discoveries 
relating to the arts and sciences, he became disgusted 
and dissatisfied with the errors and misrepresentations 
of oral tradition and sought various expedients to per- 
petuate to his posterity, authentic testimonials of his 
sagacity, and durable monuments of his intellectual 
powers. Hieroglyphics and pyramids were resorted 
to in some countries, and pillars and public edifices in 
others ; but knowing all these to be liable to decay, and 
that their true meaning might be easily misunderstood 
or forgotten, he was not satisfied with a medium of 
intelligence, which would revive and perpetuate his 
knowledge and discoveries to future times, until litera- 
ture arose to record in unfading characters, the intel- 
ligence, the improvements in science, and the fate of 
past generations. The discovery of, and progressive 
improvements in letters, have enabled man to trace his 
species through all anterior ages since the creation; 
nor would he now, were it not for literature and the 
discovery of the art of printing, be enabled to profit 
at this advanced period of the world, by the records of 
history, and the divine inspirations of religion, virtue 
and pure morality, which are breathed forth in love 
and mercy to fallen man, by holy writ! It is from 
this divine and inspired work, that he derives a know- 
ledge of all the attributes of his creator; of the immor- 
tality of his own soul ; and of all the duties he owes to 
God, his fellow-creatures, and himself. The reveries 
of all the sages and philosophers of antiquity, with the 
immortal Plato at their head, sink into cold insignifi- 
cance, when compared with the divine consolations 
afforded to man, by that pure and unsophisticated reli- 
gion, which is derived from the word of God: and 
while speaking of the pure and undefiled religion of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 79 

Jesus Christ, I will first show what it is not: second, 
the abuses of its doctrines; third, what it really is; 
and fourth, its benefits and consolations, in health and 
prosperity, sickness and misfortune. 

The virtues and the boasted wisdom of man, purifi- 
ed and improved by the highest efforts of human 
reason, would be nothing without the support and 
consolations of the doctrines of the scripture. The 
magnificence, splendor and sublimity of the great 
works of nature, from which alone, without the divine 
inspirations to be found in the word of God, he is ena- 
bled to form but an inadequate and finite conception 
of the attributes of an almighty creator, dazzle and 
confound the feeble efforts of man, in all his attempts 
to grasp at the divine perfections of his maker — baffle 
all the high-toned energies of his reason and intelli- 
gence — and throw him to an infinite distance below 
even an imaginary conception of the deity. Thus 
circumstanced — thus surrounded by mysteries which 
he cannot explain to himself — feeling a strong and 
deep-seated natural sentiment of immortality; and yet 
dreading the cold and silent horrors of the grave — the 
word of God, and faith in Christ alone, can afford him 
support and consolation in the hour of death ; solve the 
otherwise inscrutable and sublime mysteries of his own 
existence; and reveal to him the dreadful enigmas of 
eternity! In fact, when man surveys with an attentive 
and philosophic eye, the vast and complicated machine- 
ry of the universe — when he discovers that all this 
complicated and boundless machinery is subject to the 
irresistible influence of laws infinitely beyond his con- 
ception: — when he essays to embody his own concep- 
tions of the attributes of that being, who created, and 
who rules and governs all: — and. in line, when he 



80 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

makes the feeble attempt, unaided by divine revelation, 
to identify his hopes of immortality and future happi- 
ness with the unchangeable laws of created nature, so 
vast, so boundless, and so complicated as they must be, 
he shrinks back upon his own insignificance, and in- 
voluntarily asks himself, "am I not a stranger to the 
eternal laws of my own destiny? — am I not a stranger 
to this God, the supreme creator of the universe? — am 
I not lost in the immensity of his works, and the bound- 
lessness of his power!" 

Mere opinions, deduced from the boldest efforts of 
the reasoning faculties of man, never yet produced that 
genuine religion which absorbs his affections, concen- 
trates his love and gratitude on his divine creator, 
regulates his moral and intellectual energies for the 
production of his present and future happiness, and 
makes him satisfied with his own prospects of futurity. 
These are the reasons in all probability, why the an- 
cient sages, who hoped for and partially believed in 
immortality, were unable to satisfy themselves, with 
rational and conclusive proofs of the future existence of 
the human soul: these are also probably the reasons, 
and they are founded in the wisdom and providence of 
God himself, why the great truths of immortality were 
veiled, in all ages, anterior to the true gospel dispensa- 
tion, from the boasted sagacity and reasoning powers 
of the philosophers and sages of antiquity: — for, could 
these men have arrived at any definite and certain con- 
clusions on the future destinies of the human race, 
without the moral purifications of true Christianity, 
the consequences would have been dreadful to society 
and mankind, as can be easily demonstrated. 

Suppose a man were enabled by the unaided efforts 
of reason, to demonstrate conclusively to himself, that 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 81 

annihilation, or an absolute and entire negation of exis- 
tence, was his future and irrevocable doom: — what 
would be the immediate consequences of this appalling 
and dreadful discovery! Would he not feel that every 
affection of his soul was dissolved — and that existence 
itself was valueless? Would it not loosen every strong 
tie he feels on life — and sicken him with that lapse of 
time which must so soon reduce him to nothing! 
Where, under this gloomy and horrid anticipation, 
would be his affections for his parents, his wife, his fam- 
ily, his country: — what would become of the perfor- 
mance of his duties as a parent, a husband, a citizen and 
a patriot: — where would be the endearing suggestions 
of his own self-love, and his insatiable desires of pre- 
sent and future happiness, under the certain conviction 
that the elevated and noble energies of his soul would 
explode and be lost forever, when his carcase would 
become a clod of the valley. 

But, let it be supposed, that the powers of reason, 
unaided by the holy inspirations of scripture, were 
capable of arriving at the certain conviction of man's 
future happiness in eternity; and that the decree of the 
Almighty which awarded to him so auspicious a desti- 
ny, was absolutely irrevocable by his own conduct: 
and what would then be the consequences? With so 
brilliant a career of future happiness and celestial glory 
in full view, would not all the poor enjoyments of this 
life fade away — and even all the splendors of the visi- 
ble creation become to him a blank? Would he take 
upon himself the cares of a family; assume the labori- 
ous duties of providing for a numerous offspring, or 
feel an interest in the common affairs of mankind? 
Would he experience any of those affections and 
friendships, which, under the present predicaments of 

11 



82 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

life, are of such vast importance to the enjoyments of 
man? Can the eye which is accustomed to gazing at 
the sun, distinguish the darker and more somhre color- 
ings of earthly objects? But— with unalloyed and 
interminable happiness beyond the grave in full view, 
what in this life would be the feelings, emotions and 
conduct, of a man subjected to the pains of disease, the 
evils attendant on poverty and want, and all the great 
aggregate of miseries and misfortunes, with which man 
in the present state of things is destined to agonize 
through life? Would he feel disposed to encounter 
gratuitously, evils and sufferings from which he could 
escape with impunity to happier regions? 

And now let us suppose, that a man were enabled to 
distinguish nothing in his future destinies, but a sub- 
mission throughout eternity to the sufferings and 
speechless agonies of the damned; that nothing he 
could do would alleviate so dreadful, disastrous and 
horrible a destiny: — and what would be the immediate 
results? Where, to the eye of such a man, would then 
be all the charms and fascinations of nature, where all 
the varied and imposing splendors of the visible crea- 
tion? What delight could he possibly experience in 
the performance of his moral duties, or the practice of 
virtues which must terminate in a future condition in- 
finitely worse than annihilation itself? Would not 
these dark and dreadful anticipations of a period which 
must soon arrive, be eternally present to his imagina- 
tion, with all their attendant horrors? Would they not 
haunt his waking dreams of future misery, and disturb 
his midnight slumbers, with spectral phantoms of the 
sufferings of the damned, too frightful and tremendous 
for delineation! But, what, under these awful and 
afflicting expectations, from which there were no distant 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 83 

hopes of exemption, would be the character and con- 
duct of this unfortunate and miserable victim? Would 
he not say to himself: — "what to me are all the ties of 
parentage, of offspring, or of kindred ; what interest 
have I in the affairs of life, the peace and happiness of 
society, or the moral conduct and regulations of man- 
kind. Before the setting of to-morrow's sun, my eyes 
may close forever on the light of day, on all the objects 
which once were dear to my infancy and youth, and 
on all the varied and sublime beauties, which charac- 
terize with magnificence and splendor, the mystic won- 
ders of created nature! For me no morning sun will 
ever again arise; for me no vernal music of the 
groves will ever again awake; on my benighted soul, 
predestined to endless torments, no distant ray of 
feeble hope can ever dawn!" Sectarians, remorse- 
less fanatics, purblind bigots — you who deal with un- 
sparing hand and intolerant zeal, the ineffable and 
everlasting miseries of deep damnation to your fellow 
beings, merely for differing from you in opinion respect- 
ing modes of faith and divine worship, behold in this 
faithful picture, the condition to which your narrow 
and selfish doctrines would consign the great mass of 
mankind? Approach and behold a picture, which 
might make you shudder for your blasphemous pre- 
sumptions, in judging between erring and feeble man 
and his Maker ; and wresting the high prerogative of 
divine and eternal justice, from the hands of the Al- 
mighty! If you can for a moment suspend the fiery 
and vindictive delusions of your intolerance and pre- 
sumption, I wish you to contemplate with a dispassion- 
ate and discriminating eye, some farther results to 
which your infuriated and intolerant doctrines inevita- 
bly tend. If you alone are right, and if all other reli- 



84 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE.. 

gious creeds are the offspring of error, which must of 
necessity terminate in future misery — what allurements 
to religion and morality do you hold out, to those who 
you say are predestined from all eternity to the inflic- 
tions of divine wrath : and to what a penury of benefi- 
cence and love, do you reduce the mercy and affections 
of the Deity to man. Do you suppose that the doc- 
trines of particular and exclusive faith, are within the 
arbitrium or control of the voluntary powers of human 
intellect? In other words, do you presume that a man 
can believe what he wishes, without divine assistance 
sought with purity of heart! And that he can ever be 
the voluntary devotee of religious errors, thereby sin- 
ning against light and knowledge, and dooming himself 
to endless and indescribable torments? To speak in 
plain terms, and without any courtly affectation of lan- 
guage detrimental to the interests of truth, can you 
suppose that any rational being since the creation of 
man, ever yet voluntarily consigned his soul to ever- 
lasting misery, by the entertainment of religious 
opinions which he knew to be wrong: the truth is, 
that the supposition implies, not only a contradiction in 
language, but an absolute and positive contradiction in 
the facts themselves! 

But let us suppose for a moment, that your sect or 
persuasion alone are right in their faith and religious 
opinions, and that all others professing different modes 
of faith, and different opinions in religion, are in the 
entertainment of errors which must inevitably end in 
eternal punishments. Have you ever contemplated the 
absurdity of this intolerant and exclusive doctrine ; have 
you ever viewed it with an unprejudiced and dispas- 
sionate eye, and traced its malignant and desolating 
spirit, on the past, on the present, and on future times? 



GUN.N'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 85 

If you have not, I will make the laudable attempt to 
burst your narrow and intolerant prejudices asunder; 
and to exhibit these disgraceful and dogmatical doc- 
trines in all their native deformities. 

By the Mosaical account of the creation, which we 
are bound to believe authentic, the world is now nearly 
six thousand years old ; but of the antideluvian races 
of men, and also of those who existed anterior to the 
gospel dispensation, I will make none but the following 
simple and plain remark ; that it would hardly comport 
with the common principles of justice, to consign all 
those numerous races of men to eternal perdition, for 
not believing in doctrines which had never been an- 
nounced to them, and to which they were utter stran- 
gers! Since the first announcement of the gospel dis- 
pensation under our Saviour until the present time, a 
period of nearly two thousand years has elapsed; 
every half jiinute of which long period, according to 
the most authentic calculations which can be made, 
has witnessed the birth and death of ten human be- 
ings/ There are, as nearly as the facts can be ascer- 
tained, about eleven hundred millions human beings 
composing the population on the globe: now — if you 
will ascertain the number of half minutes which have 
elapsed in two thousand years, and multiply that num- 
ber by ten, you will have something like the number of 
deaths which have occurred since the coming of Christ. 
Under this strong, and new, and most important view 
of the subject; and considering likewise, that the im- 
mense and measurably unknown population of both 
Africa and Asia, have never embraced the christian 
dispensation; that the aboriginal inhabitants of both 
North and South America have ever been in the same 
uncivilized and unchristian condition: I wish you to 



86 GUNN'S D03IESTIC MEDICINE. 

inform me, ye bigots — ye fanatics — ye fiery and intol- 
erant zealots, in the cause of a God autocratical, 
supreme, and infinitely merciful to feeble and erring 
man, how many human beings, out of the countless 
myriads who have sunk into the tomb in the long lapse 
of two thousand years, belonged to those little, sects> 
who doom all mankind to the horrors of deep and 
irrevocable damnation, but themselves! But this is not 
all: according to the narrow and exclusive principles 
of your religious doctrines, which we will bring nearer 
to ourselves by an application of them to the present 
age, how many human beings, out of eleven hundred 
millions which are now in existence, according to the 
purblind and intolerant dogmas of any one of your 
exclusive professions of faith, will be doomed never 
to reach the goal of infinite mercy, even through the 
merits of that Savior who died for the salvation of 
all mankind! These are views of the absurdity of 
some of your doctrines, and of the dreadful conse- 
quences they would have in their applications to man- 
kind, too stubborn for the subterfuges of sophistry, too 
authentic in point of fact for refutation, and too plain 
for either denial or evasion. But, let us advance a 
step farther ; let us contemplate the appalling spectacle, 
which your wild, speculative and visionary theories of 
religion, would present to an assembled universe at the 
end of time! Let us suppose a period, the great day 
of accounts between man and his maker, when an 
aggregation of all the various races of men, and of 
all the countless myriads who have existed between the 
commencement and the termination of time, would 
take place: here all arithmetical computations fail: — 
and the human imagination itself expires, in attempting 
to grasp at so vast, so unbounded a spectacle! Sup- 



GUNN>S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 87 

pose also, that your paltry and disputatious conflicts 
here, and your narrow conceptions of divine justice, 
always inadequate and contradictory because the off- 
spring of ignorance, were to be made the irrevocable 
standard of adjudication by which countless and innu- 
merable millions of the human race, were to be con- 
signed to endless misery, ruin and despair? Would 
not so dreadful an exhibition of the consequences of 
your bigotry and intolerance, destroy your holy zeal 
and vindictive rage in the cause of religious and intol- 
erant prejudices ? Would not your sensibilities as men, 
weep tears of blood ^and forgiveness over the miseries 
of your fellow men'* Would you not wish to revoke 
those prejudices against mankind, which could popu- 
late the regions of the damned with myriads of your 
fellow beings — disclose to you an abortive though 
divine scheme of redemption for fallen man — and tor- 
ture your intellectual vision, with the spectacle of a 
ruined creation, and an almost solitary God! 

I have now shown, and I think conclusively, that 
the efforts of human reason, unaided by scriptural 
divinity, are utterly incompetent to disclosing to man- 
kind the great truths connected with the immortality of 
man: — that without the moral purifications of true 
Christianity and genuine religion, such disclosures 
would have been fraught with dreadful consequences 
to mankind, instanced in the cases of future certainty 
as to annihilation, future happiness, and future mis- 
er if. I think I have done more; I think I have shown, 
as far as the moral reasoning powers of man can be 
applied to incontrovertible facts, that very many of the 
intolerant and sectarian abuses which have crept into 
the christian religion, from the bigotry and misdirected 
zeal of many of its belligerent and inflammatory 



88 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

champions, are utterly inconsistent with christian char- 
ity, truly divine worship, and the principles of eternal 
justice: in fine, I think I have shown conclusively, 
what pure and genuine religion is not! 

As connected and incorporated with dangerous and 
intolerant opinions in religion, the abusive consequen- 
ces which always flow from such opinions, especially 
when under the influence of the vindictive passions of 
men, require dispassionate consideration. I have said 
in another part of this work, when speaking of the 
moral philosophy of the passions that when restrained 
within due bounds, and exercised only in relation to 
their native and legitimate objects, they were essential 
not only to the existence but to the happiness of man. 
I now assert that the reverse of this proposition is 
equally true, in other words, that the passions when 
indulged in to excess, and suffered to produce anarchy 
and wild misrule in the human bosom, are fraught with 
innumerable miseries and misfortunes to mankind, in 
every department of life. 

In sectarian doctrines, which relate to the entertain- 
ment of opinions connected with the temporal self- 
interests of mankind, it is to be expected that the 
passions, in all their excesses, will always have consi- 
derable influence. The professors of all the sciences 
which relate to the present state of man, are passion- 
ately influenced to the conversion of proselytes to their 
respective systems, because on the number of their 
converts depend not only their wealth and fame — but 
in numerous instances, the very bread which them- 
selves and their families require for daily support. 
The same may be remarked, in relation to the leaders 
of all political partizans — and to all other zealots in 
political science. In these cases, and many others 



GUJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 89 

which might be enumerated, the stimulation of the 
passions, and all their disorganizing and dangerous 
excesses, are proportioned to the real or imaginary self- 
interests of man, and to the acute and energetic pres- 
sure of his immediately real or imaginary wants. In 
all these cases, we can account on rational principles, 
or more properly speaking on logical ones, for the 
slander and defamation with which scientific men of 
all professions usually load each other — and for all the 
personal enmity, envy and malignity, with which the 
low-lived spirit of groveling ambition, usually perse- 
cutes a dangerous and aspiring rival! In all cases 
where we can connect the excesses of the passions, 
and the practice of intoleration and injustice, with the 
wants and immediate self-interests of men, there seems 
to be some colorable mitigation for their deviations 
from virtue, justice and moderation: but in cases where 
religion alone is concerned; where all the temporal 
interests and conflictions of self-love are entirely out 
of the question, where the religious faith and opinions 
of men are accounts only to be referred to the lofty and 
unerring tribunal of god himself; the gratuitous per- 
secutions of men, and their sanguinary zeal in the 
cause of an almighty power, who needs not their as- 
sistance, can only be accounted for upon principles of 
wanton depravity, native cruelty of temper, and innate 
vindictiveness of soul! Does the almighty require the 
sacrifice of the peace of society, and of all the affec- 
tions of man for his fellow-beings, in the diffusion of 
an immaculate and benevolent religion, which express- 
ly inculcates — '•'peace on earth, and good will to- 
wards men?" If my faith in the rectitude and purity 
of my own doctrines of salvation be perfect, will the 

persecution and destruction of the religious doctrines 

12 



90 



GUNiVS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



of other men, add any further demonstrations of truth' 
to the support of my own creed? You may as well 
tell me, ye bigots, and persecutors of mankind for the 
love of God, that the sun requires a lamp for the diffu- 
sion of his meridian rays — or that by conflagrating the 
habitation of a fellow being, you will build or repair 
your own! Why then consign to everlasting destruc- 
tion, and that too without attempting their reformation, 
all those who may chance to differ from you in reli- 
gious faith and opinion? Are not those who dissent 
from you in religious doctrines and opinions as ration- 
al as yourselves? Are they less interested in knowing 
the truths of genuine christian divinity, and in practi- 
sing on the precepts which they inculcate than you 
yourselves are? Do you suppose that any human be- 
ing ever existed, who was endowed with ordinary 
principles of rationality, and common sentiments of 
self-love, who could voluntarily entertain errors of 
opinion in religion, knowing that the profession of such 
opinions would eventually consign his immortal soul, 
to deep and irredeemable misery! Why then perse- 
cute men, for the entertainment of opinions, which are 
misfortunes and not crimes? Why, in other words, 
do you punish and persecute erring and feeble man, 
for involuntary errors of opinion, which according to 
your own creeds, will be punished in a future life! 
Where are the credentials, from which you derive au- 
thority to sit in judgment between man and his Maker: 
and to assist an omnipotent god, in the execution of 
those laws which his own infinite wisdom, at the 
creation, imposed on the universe!! Under this view 
of your conduct, which I place in a strong and correct 
light for your own contemplations, with the hope that 
you may be induced to abandon your abuses of the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



91 



religion of the Savior of mankind, and to treat your 
fellow-men with more lenity and compassion, I must 
confess myself utterly at a loss, which to be most as- 
tonished at, your ignorance — presumption — or fanati- 
cism. How, ye bigoted and fanatical zealots — how 
do you reconcile your inquisitions, your burnings, 
your persecutions, and your intolerance in opinion, 
with the mildly compassionate and humane example of 
the Savior of the world ; he who exclaimed amidst the 
protracted agonies of the cross, and while sweating 
drops of blood to wash out the crimsoned iniquities of 
mankind — "Father forgive them for they know not 
what they do!" You are mistaken in attributing to 
pure and holy zeal in the cause of religion, your per- 
secutions of those who differ from you in sectarian 
faith and doctrines: your worldly minded pride of ma- 
king proselytes — your ambition to become conspicuous 
among men, as the defenders of the true faith — your 
secret aspirations after exaltations to high elerical offi- 
ces your love of worldly distinctions and temporal 

power — and not unfrequently, your cupidity and ava- 
rice, respecting good round salaries for the discharge 
of your official functions ; these are the energetic and 
inflammatory motives, which urge you to your vindic- 
tive persecutions of mankind for opinion's sake; these 
are the real causes of your want of charity to each 
oilier, and to mankind in the aggregate. 

I think I have now shown, in a tolerably clear and 
strong point of view, not only what religion is not — 
but also many of the abuses of its doctrines ; let us 
now endeavor to understand something respecting what 
it really is. 

•'Feeble work of my hand," says the Almighty to 
bis creature man, k I owe you nothing but I give you 



92 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

existence. I place you in tne midst of a universe 
which bespeaks my wisdom and glory, and I surround 
you with blessings and enjoyments, which ought to ex- 
cite in your bosom pure and elevated sentiments of 
love, admiration and gratitude, to that inscrutable Be- 
ing who made you for the enjoyment of happiness — 
and placed the objects of those enjoyments within your 
reach. Your love can add nothing to my felicity, your 
admiration to my power, nor your sentiments of grati- 
tude to my glory ; and I make you susceptible of these 
exalted and divine emotions, that you may render your- 
self happy both here and hereafter. The fidelity of 
your obedience to my laws will be the test of your 
own happiness ; and, when you cease to 'love me and 
keep my commandments,' your breach of my precepts 
will offend me, and render yourself unhappy." 

Such — according to our feeble and inadequate con- 
ceptions of a God of love, and mercy, are the mild 
and benevolent sentiments entertained by him for his 
erring and dependent creature man — for he expressly 
announces in his holy word, "that he delights not in 
the death of a sinner." — These are some of the conso- 
lations of true religion, which when fully merited by 
man, by a strict obedience to the words of scripture, 
and a full and entire faith in the merits of a blest re- 
deemer, nothing earthly can destroy. I do not intend 
to enter into a critical dissertation on the subject of 
religion, further than its divine spirit is connected with 
the moral condition of man, and his physical health 
and enjoyments. We know perfectly well, from our 
own consciousness, that the mere pleasures and enjoy- 
ments of this world, are insufficient to satisfy the moral 
desires of the human mind, when deeply impressed 
with an unerring sentiment of immortality. Give a 



6UN.N»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 93 

man wealth and luxury unbounded; load him with 
titles and worldly honors ; even clothe him with what 
Doctor Young calls "a mortal immortality''' — and, like 
Catsar when crowned emperor and invested with the 
imperial purple, he will exclaim — "and is this all!" 
With respect to the enjoyments of this world, I mean 
those which are not connected with the future state of 
existence, and sentiments of pure and undefiled reli- 
gion, it is a truth that has been recognized by the 
experience of all ages, that their satiation always pro- 
duces indifference, and not unfrequently disgust. This 
circumstance alone ought to convince us, that the de- 
sires of man and his capacities for enjoyment, are not 
limited to this earthly sphere ; and that there must be 
a future and more exalted state of being, where his 
capacities for moral and intellectual enjoyment will 
meet with objects suited to their elevation — and where 
the boundless desires which he is conscious of in this 
life, will meet with scenes of enjoyment as unlimited 
as those desires. It was from this view of the subject 
under consideration, and probably also from the strong 
impression of the insufficiency of the enjoyments of 
this life, that the great Dr. Young exclaimed in his 
Night Thoughts — "man must be immortal, or heaven 
unjust!" Do we not know perfectly well, that when 
the physical calls of nature are satisfied, lassitude and 
indifference succeed? Do we not also know, that 
when all the pleasures and enjoyments of this world 
are showered on us in profusion, there still exists in 
the human bosom, hopes and desires connected with 
sentiments of immortality, and objects of a more eleva- 
ted and intellectual order of enjoyment than this world 
can afford? The fact is, that the desires, the capaci- 
ties, and the hopes of man as to futurity — when com- 



94 GIINN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

pared with the utter insufficiency of the objects of 
enjoyment actually under his control in this life, go 
very far to demonstrate satisfactorily the immortality of 
man. Do the affections of the brute for its offspring, 
like those of man for his relations and friends, survive 
the flight of time, and contemplate a re-union of those 
affections in another state of existence? The differ- 
ence between the influence of reason and that of true 
religion, in relation to the future happiness and enjoy- 
ments of man, may be satisfactorily explained in a few 
words. Reason teaches man merely to hope for im- 
mortal existence and happiness, whilst pure Religion, 
supported by faith in the redeemer, and by the faith- 
ful practice of his precepts, assures him of both 
future existence and future happiness. There is this 
further difference between reason and religion, and I 
think it a very palpable and plain one; reason cannot 
influence man's feeble hopes of immortality and future 
happiness, with sufficient motives for the practice of 
piety and virtue — whilst religion urges him imperious- 
ly to the performance of his duties to his God, to him- 
self, and to his fellow-beings, by the certainty of future 
rewards and punishments. These are the reasons why 
pure and genuine christians, I do not mean bigots, 
hypocrites, or intolerant fanatics, are better citizens, 
better husbands, and better parents, than most other 
men; and these are the reasons also, why they are the 
happier classes of' mankind. Reason may teach the 
existence of a great first cause, but it is utterly incom- 
petent to disclosing his moral attributes of justice, love 
and mercy, or to defining for man his particular and 
indispensable duties in every department of life. The 
precepts of religion are plain and easy of comprehen- 
sion; they can be understood and practiced by all 



GUNJV'S DOMESTIC .MEDICINE. 95 

ranks and grades of men. Reason, on the other hand, 
in attempting an explanation of the attributes of God, 
or the duties of man to that God or his fellow-creatures, 
is eternally operating on imaginary and unknown prin- 
ciples, and making iair-breadth distinctions, which have 
no existence but in the sound of words without mean- 
ing: the errors of reason are founded in the ignorance 
of man, who knows nothing in reality of the essential 
or elementary principles of any one thing in heaven or 
on earth. The scripture says, and any man can under- 
stand the denunciation, "whosoever sheddeth man's 
blood, by man shall his blood be shed." Now I would 
like to see the champion of reason, who can demon- 
strate satisfactorily that murder is a crime, and that it 
is punishable with death. But I will put another, and 
more general and comprisive case, which will be quite 
sufficient. Municipal law is said to be founded on 
reason, which we call the mother of justice. If reason 
be an unerring sentinel, and if law be the perfection 
of reason, as it is said to be by learned and profound 
civilians, why have not six thousand years of rea- 
soning been sufficient to reduce law to unerring prin- 
ciples of justice; and why, at this late and refined 
period of reason, do we so seldom find two persons "of 
counsel learned in the law," who agree in opinion 
respecting its real principles? The fact is, that in 
reasoning on all subjects involving morals, all we can 
possibly arrive at is a high degree of probability, which 
amounts to little more than ingenious and plausible 
conjecture. If the mere exercise of reason be entire- 
ly sufficient to disclose to man his duties, to impel him 
to the performance of those duties, and to satisfy him 
respecting the all-important doctrines of futurity, why 
have the advocates of mere reason so many doubts 



96 qKNK'a domestic medicine. 

and difficulties on all subjects: — the enigma is easily 
solved ; the ignorance of man respecting first princi- 
ples, the doubts he always entertains of the infallibility 
of reasoning as a science, and the consciousness of 
being eternally liable to error in his rational deduc- 
tions, involve him in labyrinths of confusion and dis- 
may, from which no merely human powers of intellect 
or genius can possibly extricate him. While in the 
rise or day spring of life ; while enjoying uninterrupted 
health and prosperity; and while indulging in antici- 
pations of a protracted and fortunate term of existence 
here, the lordly and proud advocate of the all-sufficien- 
cy of reason, may indulge in theoretical speculations 
which he imagines he firmly believes in: but, let him 
become unfortunate in his adventures after earthly 
enjoyments, and infirm in his health ; let his prospects 
of exemption from disease and misfortune darken 
around him ; and in this situation let him approach the 
unknown and mysterious confines of eternity. Where 
then will be his visionary and theoretical speculations 
respecting futurity; where the fortitude which ought to 
support him in his descent to the cold and silent man- 
sions of the dead; and where the celestial fire of hope 
and christian consolation that alone can light him to 
eternal happiness, relieve his gloomy apprehensions of 
annihilation, and shed even a splendor around the 
horrors of the grave? 

Pure and vital religion, not that based on merely 
bigoted and sectarian prejudices, or on frivolous and 
childish distinctions respecting rites and ceremonies, is 
infinitely superior to reason, in securing to man all 
the moral enjoyments of this life, and in assuring him 
of those blessings which reason only hopes for in futu- 
rity. By pure and vital religion, I do not mean hypoc- 



DUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



97 



risy, which is the religion of knaves, fanaticism, 
which is the religion of madmen, fear, which is the 
religion of cowardice, or superstition, which is that of 
fools: I mean that pure and elevated sentiment of divine 
love and admiration for the Deity, which leads us to 
faith in the great Redeemer of fallen and degraded 
man, and to the practice of benevolence, virtue, toler- 
ation^ and charity for our fellow-beings. This divine 
and ennobling sentiment, when experienced in all its 
purity, banishes all the base, sordid, selfish, and ignoble 
passions from the human bosom, and elevates man as 
it were, to a communion with his Maker. It cultivates 
all the finer affections of man for his fellow beings ; 
makes him a provident and tender parent; a chaste 
and faithful husband; a kind and benevolent master, 
and a useful, virtuous and patriotic citizen: it makes 
him faithful in his friendships, virtuous in his loves, 
honest in his dealings, candid in his communications 
with mankind, moderate in his desires, unostentatious 
in his charities, and tolerant in his opinions. Fanatics, 
bigots, zealots, hypocrites; ye who practice fraud, vio- 
lence, hypocrisy, and all the deceptions and mummery 
of priestcraft on the sons of men, and yet dare to call 
yourselves the disciples and followers of the immacu- 
late Savior of mankind, compare yourselves with this 
portrait of a real christian! There is a class of reli- 
gionists in every christian country, who are impressed 
with the absurd opinion, that the profession of faith 
in particular sectarian creeds, and the practice of a 
few frivolous rites and ceremonies, are quite sufficient 
to entitle them to salvation. The probability is that 
these people are deceiving themselves, or making the 
profession of religion a mere mask for iniquitous designs 
against the community; for, let their vicious passions 

13 



GCNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE 



or propensities be excited, and themselves thrown off 
their guard, and you immediately discover the true 
state of the case: in fact you soon discover them to be 
sensualists, swindlers and hypocrites. These people 
ought always to bear in mind, that those alone are gen- 
uine christians, who know the will of God, and prac- 
tice its divine precepts: nor ought they ever to lose 
sight of the important and eternal truth — that it is im- 
possible to deceive the Almighty. Compared with 
these hypocritical and unworthy professors, whose pray- 
ers are always on the "house tops," and whose devo- 
tions are loud and emphatical that they may be heard, 
the true christian exhibits an essentially different and 
greatly more elevated character. He is modest, retir- 
ing and unobtrusive, in his devotions; it is not the 
mere profession of piety and religion, that stimulates 
him in the performance of his duties — it is the heaven- 
born consciousness that his devotional exercises are 
acceptable to his Maker, and that they will render him 
serene amidst dangers and difficulties, animated and 
cheerful under the infliction of disease and sickness, 
and resigned to the will of his Creator. To such a 
man, diseases, infirmities, and misfortunes in this life 
are nothing; he is above their influence: they can 
neither ruffle his passions, nor disturb the deep and 
settled serenity of his soul. The death-bed of such a 
man is not the death-bed of the sinner: even the pre- 
sence of the king of terrors cannot appal the resolu- 
tions, or shake the fortitude of the man whose reliance 
is on the love and mercy of his God. As a physician, 
I some years since, in Virginia, attended the couch of 
a devout christian, and a sincere believer in Christ; 
and was impressed with sentiments which can never be 
obliterated from my memory by the lapse of time* 



GUNN,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 99 

The patient was a poor methodist preacher; he had 
been seriously and dangerously indisposed nearly two 
years; and was evidently awaiting the summon to 
"that borne from whence no traveler returns. Instead 
of seeing terror and dismay depicted in his counte- 
nance, which I had often witnessed in the cases of those 
who were not christians, all was cheerful serenity and 
mild resignation; no ghastly expression of feature be- 
spoke the terror of death, no indications of mental 
distress told of remorse for ill-spent life; nor did a 
single shade of gloomy anticipation, pass over the eye 
that was so soon to close in the cold and silent man- 
sions of the dead! The last words of the innocent 
sufferer were, and they are deeply impressed on my me- 
mory: — "my life has been devoted to the service of my 
God, and to the benefit of my fellow beings: I await 
with perfect resignation to his will, the call of my Mas- 
ter." Here was an instance of the consolatory 

influence of true religion, which ought to prove conclu- 
sively that it is connected with none of the gloomy and 
depressing passions. In truth, it has always been 
matter of much astonishment to me, that the consola- 
tions which pure religion promises mankind in a future 
state of existence, could ever have produced on the 
mind of man any other impressions than those of 
cheerfulness, fortitude and resignation. I never could 
conceive how genuine religion was connected, unless 
perverted to the excitement of the gloomy passions, by 
misconceptions of the attributes of God, with emotions 
of terror and depressing apprehensions of futurity. 
Has man not assurances of an exemption from all the 
evils and calamities of this life, if he be a faithful and 
true christian, in a more perfect and elevated state of 
being, when his corruptions shall put on incorruption — 



100 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and when the mere mortal shall put on immortality? 
Are not the doctrines of true Christianity, essentially 
connected with that sunshine of the breast, which we 
denominate a good conscience: — "and which nothing 
earthly can give, or can destroy!" The christian reli- 
gion was never intended by the Almighty, as a source 
of grief, mortification and suffering: it is a pure ema- 
nation of divine love and mercy towards feeble, erring 
and fallen mankind ; and was surely intended by divine 
wisdom, as an unfailing source of joy, consolation and 
happiness, both here and hereafter, to the human race! 
I have been more particular on the subject of religion, 
than at first view might seem necessary to the interests 
of medical science ; but I have been long convinced, 
that the sentiments we entertain of a future life, are 
not only essentially connected with the moral condition 
of mankind, but with the health and many of the 
diseases of the physical system, of which more will be 
said under the proper heads. 



INTEMPERANCE. 

Intemperance is the offspring of so many and such 
various causes, that it seems impossible to enumerate 
them, or even to reduce them to any thing like scientific 
order. I will commence my remarks on intemperance, 
which in its broadest signification means excess in the 
gratification of our propensities, passions, and even 
intellectual pursuits, by emphatically observing that it 
is generally found in strong and intimate connexion, 
when really traced to its origin, with the pleasures and 
enjoyments, as well as with the miseries and misfortunes 
of mankind. I have before remarked under another 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 101 

head, that with regard to the elementary principles of the 
passions, propensities, and intellectual powers of man, 
we know absolutely nothing with certainty; and that 
all we can possibly understand with respect to them, is 
derived from our consciousness of their existence, and 
from the effects they daily and hourly produce for our 
observation. 

Every capacity or power of the human system, 
physical and intellectual, when exercised in moderation, 
and with strict conformity to the laws of nature, is pro- 
ductive of enjoyment and happiness: this natural and 
moderate exercise of our propensities, passions, and 
mental energies, when matured into habits of life and 
character, we call temperance; and, it is the abusive 
degradation of those same intellectual powers, pas- 
sions and propensities, by their unrestrained and exces- 
sive indulgence to the destruction of health and happi* 
ness, that we call intemperance. I will give some 
familiar examples of the application of these princi- 
ples, in order that they may be fully comprehended by 
those for whom I write. We are all liable to hunger 
and thirst; and all of us require sleep, for the renova- 
tion of our bodily and mental powers when fatigued. 
These are natural wants ; and their gratifications are 
always essential to health and happiness. We all know 
perfectly well, for instance, that when we satisfy our 
hunger and thirst in moderation, and renew the strength 
of our systems, of mind and body, by sleeping no 
more than the requisite time for producing those effects, 
the satisfaction of these natural wants invariably pro- 
duces healthy action of body and mind, attended with 
enjoyment and pleasure. But, on the other hand, when 
in eating or drinking, we overload and surcharge the 
Stomach with meat and drink, and when in sleeping 



102 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

take more repose than is required for the renovation 
of our bodily and mental systems, our excesses are 
always productive of nausea, uneasiness, indigestion, 
and stupidity, and we habitually become gluttons, 
drunkards, and sluggards, and are a disgrace to our- 
selves and society. The same doctrine and mode of 
reasoning may be applied to the passions of mankind. 
When they are indulged in with natural moderation, 
and never suffered to run into riot and excess, they are 
always conducive to health ; and productive of many 
of the enjoyments and pleasures of life; but, when 
they gain the ascendancy of the moral feelings and 
rational powers, when they prostrate the bulwarks of 
religion and morality, and are indulged in all their 
debasing and destructive excesses, the progress of the 
passions proclaims the premature decay of health, 
strength, and happiness — and emphatically announces 
to the unfortunate victims of excess, that they are 
fallen indeed! In truth, what has just been remarked 
with regard to the natural wants and passions of men, 
may with strict justice be applied to the lofty and pow- 
erful energies of the mind itself. It has been truly 
remarked by an acute and profound investigator of 
the faculties of the mind, that "he who thinks with 
great intenseness, and profundity will not continue to 
do so for many successive years" — and in proofs of 
this, I will note some instances which will have much 
weight in demonstrating the fact. Sir Isaac Newton, 
who was probably the greatest astronomer and mathe- 
matician of his own or any other age, several years 
previous to the close of his life, was utterly unable to 
comprehend the meaning of his own works ; in addi- 
tion to which I will notice as a well authenticated fact, 
that the celebrated Dean Swift, the energies of whose 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 103 

mind were inferior to those of no literary man of the ' 
same age, several years previous to his death became 
a driveler, and confirmed idiot. Whether it be true, 
that intense, subtile, and powerful intellect, acts upon 
the mere carcase as a sharp sword does upon the 
scabbard ; or whether the mind itself becomes exhaust- 
ed and worn out, by an overstrained and continued 
excitement of its powers, I leave for metaphysicians 
to determine: — but we certainly do know, and the ex- 
perience of all ages and generations proves the fact, 
that excessive mental exertion not only produces fa- 
tigue and lassitude in a few hours, but that if such 
exertion be continued for a few years in succession, it 
invariably blunts and wears down the keenest and 
soundest intellectual energies of man. The broad and 
comprehensive view I have just given of temperance 
and intemperance, in regard to the physical wants, 
passions, and intellectual powers of man, I believe to 
be the only correct exposition on general principles that 
can be given ; because it embraces all the destructive 
excesses to which man is prone, and refers all those 
excesses, to the abuses and degradations of his eleva- 
ted and noble faculties. 

I commenced with remarking, and I wish the princi- 
ple to be kept in view by the reader, that the vices of 
intemperance when fairly traced to their origin, will 
always be found in connexion with the enjoyments and 
pleasures, as well as with the miseries and misfortunes 
of mankind. 

Mankind may be distinguished into two great classes 
or divisions: First, those whose pleasures and enjoy- 
ments, and whose pains and miseries, partake so great- 
ly of a physical character, as nearly always to be 
referable (<> corporeal or bodily functions and sensa- 



104 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

tions: this class is composed of men who are properly 
denominated sensualists; in other words, they are 
individuals who can only be rendered happy or misera- 
ble through the medium of the senses. Second, those 
whose general characters partake more of the nature 
and habitual influence of the intellectual powers; and 
of the emotions and passions of the mind ; and whose 
enjoyments, pleasures, sufferings and miseries, are more 
intimately connected with the mind and imagination; 
these may with much propriety be denominated men- 
talists. Among the great aggregate of mankind, the 
reality of the distinction between animal and intellect- 
ual man, as regards the native bias of the human 
character towards one or the other extreme, is demon- 
strable from the following facts. Hunger and thirst, 
for instance, are corporeal wants ; they are essential to 
the health, strength and support of the physical or bodi- 
ly system; and may be called corporeal or bodily 
passions, when they become so powerful as to impel 
men to gluttony and drunkenness: — desires and propen- 
sities being nothing more, when considered in relation 
to the corporeal system, than slighter shades of the 
physical wants and passions of men. Love and ambi- 
tion, on the contrary, are passions of the mind and 
imagination: they are the offspring of refined sensibili- 
ty, and deep-toned energies of intellectual character ; 
and when acting in their native sphere, are so far ab- 
stracted from all corporeal considerations, that they 
only occasionally act on the physical wants and pas- 
sions, and then only for the attainment of specific 
objects. When the passion of love, for instance, is 
directed to the perpetuation of the human species, 
which I will remark in passing, was not the case in the 
love which existed between Jonathan and David, the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 105 

intellectual passion of love only acts on the sexual and 
corporeal functions; but, I would ask any sceptic on 
this point, whether the love of literature, mathematics, 
astronomy, or any other science or intellectual pursuit, 
lias any connection whatever with propensities, wants 
and passions, founded on the merely corporeal or bodi- 
ly functions of mankind. And surely it will not be 
questioned, that the food and nourishment required for 
exercising, giving pleasure to, and strengthening the 
mind, are essentially different from those required for 
the sustenance, health, and strength of the body: and 
we all know perfectly well, in reference to the corpo- 
real and intellectual functions and capacities of men, 
that the strong predominance of either class operates 
unfavorably and sometimes destructively to the omen 
The fact is, that we oftentimes find the loftiest and 
strongest passions and mental energies, connected with 
delicate and sometimes feeble corporeal organization, 
debility of stomach, and prostration of strength: nor is 
it unusual to observe, that those who possess uncom- 
monly high health and physical strength, are frequently 
in the other extreme, as regards the exercise of the 
mind and passions. But further; every man who has 
acquired any experience, respecting those states of the 
physical system when the mind and passions act with 
the greatest force, must know that a full stomach al- 
ways blunts the mind and feelings; and that inanition 
or emptiness of the stomach, is favorable to intellectual 
operations. This fact is so weli known, that the Creek 
Indians, in all their public deliberations on important 
national concerns, use what they cali the black drink, 
made of the parched leaves of the spice-wood boiled, 
which vomits them copiously and produces the inani- 
tion just mentioned ; without which, they allege thev 

14 



106 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

are inadequate to deliberating on their national affairs. 
Some medical writer has remarked, that physical de- 
bility, and a diseased state of the system, impart, as it 
were, a preternatural excitement to the mind ; and in- 
stances the cases of Boilieu, Erasmus, Pascal, Cicero, 
Galba, Pope, and several others, who were as remar- 
kable for the feebleness of their physical constitutions, 
as they were for their gigantic energies of intellect: the 
same writer also remarks, that abortive, feeble, and 
sickly children, almost invariably display powerful 
characteristics of intellect when grown to maturity; 
and instances the cases of the great Lord Littleton and 
Mrs. Ferguson, both of whom were seven months' 
children: to which he might have added the cases of 
Richard the Third, who according to Shakspeare's 
account, was "deformed, unfinished, and sent into this 
breathing world scarce half made up." On the other 
hand, it has frequently been remarked by men of acute 
and scrutinizing minds, that high health, great corpo- 
real strength, and uncommon muscularity of frame, are 
seldom remarkable for subtile and profound genius, or 
for an attachment to purely intellectual pursuits. This 
is so notoriously true, that the opinions generally form- 
ed by the vulgar, of the persons of men who are con- 
spicuous and renowned for great intellectual powers, 
are almost invariably the very reverse of what may be 
called the corporeally contemptible realities. In de- 
monstration of this fact, innumerable instances might 
be given, in addition to those found in the persons of 
Alexander of Macedon, Frederick, king of Prussia, 
John Philpot Curran, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamil- 
ton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jack- 
son, and lastly the late emperor Napoleon, who was 
nicknamed by his own soldiers, from his contemptible 



GUNN'S JDOMESTIC MEDICINE. 107 

stature and proportions, the little corporal. I will here 
make an observation on this subject, which I do not 
recollect to have seen in any writer. We are always 
to presume, that the soundness and strength of the 
physical constitutions of men, lead to great longevity or 
length of days: and it is a fact as notorious as true, 
that such men are seldom or never possessed of much 
mind; in other words, the sword is not sufficiently 
sharp to cut the scabbard. I am acquainted with a 
man, a pauper, of this county, who is said from good 
authority to be one hundred and ten years of age, who 
I was informed on enquiry, never even in the meridian 
of life had more than a very ordinary mind: and 
Thomas Parre, who died in London on the 16th No- 
vember, 1635, aged one hundred and fifty-two years, it 
is said was greatly noted for having been a man as 
remarkable for his deficiency of mental energies, as for 
his lascivious and sensual propensities. "It was ob- 
served of him," says the London Medical Museum, 
"that he used to eat often, both by night and by day, 
taking up with old cheese, milk, coarse bread, small 
beer, and whey; and which is more remarkable, he 
ate at migdnight, a little before he died. Being open- 
ed after his death, his body was still found very fleshy; 
— his breast hairy; his genitals unimpaired, which 
served to confirm the report of his having undergone 
public censures for his incontenency," &c. &c. I 
would by no means wish to be understood, that there 
are no individuals possessed of high health and great 
physical strength, who are remarkable for strong intel- 
lectual powers; Newton, Johnson, Shakspeare, and a 
thousand other instances might be given as exceptions 
to the general rule just noticed; but we are all well 
convinced not only that high health and strengh lead 



108 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

to corporeal amusements and pursuits unfavorable to 
intellectual improvement — but that debility and disease 
act in various ways extremely favorable to accessions 
of mental strength. In the first place, debility and 
disease lower the tone of those passions which impel 
us to active exertion and amusement; in other words, 
they impose a powerful restraint on the physical appe- 
tites and propensities — circumscribe us to amusements 
and pursuits connected with the operations of the mind, 
confine us to the company of our elders, whose superior 
experience and knowledge are beneficial to our intel- 
lectual improvement; and "by keeping up an action in 
the brain, in common with other parts of the body, they 
tend to impart vigor to the intellectual faculties." 

From what has been said, I think it will appear 
evident, that from both natural and accidental circum- 
stances, there is a distinction to be drawn between 
those men whose pleasures and pains are connected 
with physical or corporeal character, and those whose 
enjoyments and miseries are more intimately associated 
with the powers and passions of the mind: and it was 
for these reasons that I alleged in the outset, not only 
that intemperance was the offspring of various physical 
and intellectual causes, but that when traced to its 
origin, it would generally be found in strong and inti- 
mate connexion, as well with the pleasures and enjoy- 
ments, as with the miseries and misfortunes of mankind. 
This is a view of the subject of intemperance and its 
causes, which I presume has never before been taken 
by any writer; and although it must of necessity, like 
every thing else human, be subject to imperfections 
both in data and conclusions, yet it may have some 
salutary tendencies. It may possibly invite the atten- 
tion of the learned, to further and more satisfactory 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 109 

investigations of the subject; it may exhibit the neces- 
sity of seeking for the real causes of intemperance, in 
removing its habits and effects from the human system; 
and it may invite society to the exercise of more lenity 
and compassion, when laboring for the reformation of 
its unfortunate and melancholy victims. Abuse and 
degradation were never yet influential in reforming the 
intemperate; for, what interest did any man ever yet 
feel, for the preservation of that which he has been 
convinced, by abuse and degradation, was of no esti- 
mation or value? Intemperance is confined to no rank 
in life; to no particular grade of genius and intellect- 
ual power, between a Socrates and an idiot; it is 
found in the hut of the savage, the haunts of the learn- 
ed, the hovel of the beggar, and in the palaces of 
kings; its causes are as various as the capacities of 
man for enjoyments and pleasures, and as multiplied as 
the various miseries and misfortunes to which he is 
subjected through life: what a farce then it must be, 
for any physician to attempt to remove the different 
causes of intemperance, without knowing what those 
causes are, and by the application of one specific reme- 
dy to such an infinite variety of causes. Would you 
attempt to remove diseases of the mind, by merely 
physical remedies? Would you, on the other hand, 
hope for the removal of merely corporeal diseases, by 
the application of intellectual means? Would you 
soothe the mental anguish of remorse, without the con- 
solations of religion, and assurances of divine forgive- 
ness ? Would you, in other words, attempt to destroy 
a poisonous variety of plants, without striking at the 
roots of their existence and vitality? 

The mere pleasures of sense, as well as those of 
the intellect, are susceptible of being rendered more 



110 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

intense, by the application of stimulants: in the varied 
and endless catalouge of stimulating powers, are to be 
found all the great allurements to dissipation and con- 
firmed intemperance; but it will hardly be contended, 
that one grade of stimulants, possesses the same 
strength and adaptation of allurement, with all the 
varieties of mankind. Physically speaking, one man's 
system is excited to pleasurable sensations by snuff, the 
system of another by tobacco, of another by wine, of 
a fourth by spirits and opium, of a fifth by highly sea- 
soned and stimulating food, &c. &c; and we are all 
perfectly aware, that a persistency in the use of any 
or all the above stimulants, will sometimes degenerate 
into a confirmed habit of intemperance in their use, 
too strong for the restraints of either the moral or in-* 
tellectual energies of the self-devoted victims. You 
will frequently hear the devotees of any or all the 
above excesses, execrating the very agents they employ 
in wearing down their constitutions with incidental 
diseases and premature decay, and moralizing with 
the finest touches of elocution, on the heinousness and 
immorality of such dangerous and degrading excesses ; 
and what does all this prove? Why it demonstrates 
conclusively, that the habits of dissipation and intem- 
perance, like all other derelictions from the standard 
of nature and philosophic moderation, are to be resis- 
ted in their first formation, and before they can 
acquire the resistless force of torrents, before which all 
human resolutions, and efforts of preservation, sink to 
rise no more! There are two periods of human life; 
there are two marked and distinct periods in the pro- 
gressive excesses of dissipation and intemperance. In 
the rise of life, we act upon every thing around us, 
from a confidence in our own strength, and a conscious^ 



GILNiVS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. Ill 

ness of being able to master and shape our own desti- 
nies: in the decline of life, when the physical, moral, 
and mental energies begin to fail, we act upon less 
resolute and less confidential principles; in other 
words, we merely act on the defensive, and resort to 
expedients for warding off diseases, dangers and death. 
These two periods are strongly marked in the lives and 
characters of all men ; from the General, who achieves 
victories in his youth, and sustains defeat in his old age, 
to the man of intellectual powers and pursuits, who, like 
the immortal Milton, writes a "Paradise Lost," in the 
meridian of life and intellectual resolution, and a "Par- 
adise Regained," when the tremors of old age and 
irresolution have crept over him. This is a faithful 
picture of a man of dissipation and intemperance. At 
first he adventures on an excess, partly from the attrac- 
tive force of the allurement, and partly from the con- 
sciousness of moral and intellectual resolufion to with- 
stand any temptation to dangerous indulgence. In the 
formation of intemperate habits, this is precarious and 
hostile ground : the scripture says, "let him who stands, 
take heed lest he fall." The habit of intemperance is 
of slow or rapid growth, in proportion to the strength 
or weakness of our resolutions to withstand temptation. 
Where many and strong motives combine to retard 
our progress in excesses of intemperance, we advance 
slowly and almost imperceptibly to self-destruction. 
When the animations of youth, and the convivialities 
of conversation, are sufficient for the production of 
pleasurable sensations: when we are highly susceptible 
of impression from the varied charms of nature ; and 
while the brilliant prospects of a long and animated 
life, seem "to bid an eternal Eden smile around us," 
the temptations to degrading intemperance are only 



112 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

those which enhance the intensity of other pleasured 
But, in proportion as all these fairy prospects fade on 
the vision; in proportion as the repetition of these en- 
joyments causes us to lose the sentiment of novelty, 
and especially when satiety of such enjoyments produ- 
ces lassitude and coldness, we invariably descend to 
more sensual and intense expedients, for renewing sen- 
sations of pleasure: and unfortunately for mankind, 
those expedients are too often connected with the dis- 
sipations and intemperance of the glutton, the epicure, 
the opium-eater, and the drundard. This descent to 
confirmed habits of intemperance, in all its varied 
stages of degradation, need not be delineated ; these 
graduated debasements are visible in every department 
of society, and are so common, as almost everywhere 
to have lost their novelty and impression. 

I have not yet spoken of those dissipations, which 
seem to be connected with the energies and passions of 
the mind; and compared with which, the intemperate 
excesses of the mere animal appetites and passions of 
man, dwindle into a comparatively insignificant and 
ordinary character. Where the character of an indi* 
vidual is decidedly intellectual, there always will be 
discovered at the early period of life, a strong native 
propensity to an indulgence in intellectual pleasures, 
and in those passions which are more closely allied to 
the mental powers. I mean here those pleasures of 
the mind, which have their rise in the memory, the 
understanding, the imagination, &c. and those which 
are the offspring of an indulgence in those passions of 
the mind, which we call love, hope, ambition, &c. 
With regard to the pleasures of memory, they are as 
various and unlimited as the objects by which we are 
surrounded in nature ; they comprize every thing cog* 



OVHNfi DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 113 

iii/able by all the senses of man, the impressions of 
which can be stamped upon the retentive faculty; and 
they embrace also, those recollections of our own con- 
duct, which are fraught with the pleasures of a good 
conscience. It is absolutely impossible to define or 
limit the pleasures of memory, they embrace our pa- 
rents, our early friends, and all the objects of our youth- 
ful attachments; the houses in which we were born 
and educated, the haunts of our youthful and innocent 
diversions, and all the objects of our early pursuits. 
The pleasures of memory also comprise all we have 
learned of the heroism, the magnanimity, and the in- 
telligence, of the great warriors and sages of antiquity; 
they in fact embrace all the recollections of the mind, 
in its recognizance of all the objects and events which 
have ever been pleasing to us: and they particularly 
afford us happiness from a review of a well-spent life. 
But are there not pains, as well as pleasures of mem- 
ory? There are; and here commences the cata- 
logue of dissipations, the first impulse to which is to 
be found in the mind. Was it an inherent baseness 
and brutality of native character, that rendered Robert 
Burns intemperate? Was it a bestial love of the 
liquid poison which finally destroyed him, that origin- 
ated and confirmed those habits of intemperance which 
sent him to an early grave? No: his dissipations 
commenced in the convivialities and pleasures of a 
refined, delicate, and superior mind; and were con- 
firmed into habits of intemperance too stubborn for the 
control of his moral energies, by the lowliness of his 
fortunes, the poignancy and vulgarity of his sufferings, 
and the pains of his memory! Why do we see a 
man like this, the prey of a morbid and confirmed 
melancholy? And why do we hear him warblinc 

* 15 h 



114 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

forth his distresses, when contemplating objects yet 
dear and painful to his memory, in the following in- 
spired and tender strains: "ye mind me of departed 
hours — departed, never to return!" The fate of Ro- 
bert Burns, has been the fate of thousands whose names 
are lost to fame, and who have sunk into obscure and 
lonely graves, unpitied and unknown. Thomas I nine 
once remarked, that one of the greatest miseries of 
human life, consisted in not being able to forget what 
it was painful to remember. Mr. Paine's character was 
highly intellectual ; his whole life had been devoted to 
conferring political benefits and moral miseries on 
mankind: and it is not merely possible, but highly 
probable, that the desertions of society on account of 
his theological writings, and the pains of his memory, 
led to those confirmed habits of dissipation and intem- 
perance, which ultimately destroyed him. But, the 
instances just submitted to the reader, are but two out 
of thousands which might be adduced, to prove the 
influence of the pains of memory, in originating and 
confirming fatal habits of dissipation and intemperance. 
How many millions have sunk into the vortex of in- 
temperance, from the influence of those pains of mem- 
ory, called an accusing conscience? Physician — 
"canst thou minister to a mind diseased," by medical 
prescriptions which can only affect the body? 

The pleasures and pains of the understanding come 
next under consideration; and present such a field for 
the investigation of philosophy, as can only be delinea- 
ted in outlines. Curiosity is the first passion, or rather 
emotion of the human understanding; it leads the mind 
to the investigation and scrutiny of all the objects of na- 
ture and art which present themselves to man, betwixt 
the cradle and the grave: the emotion or passion of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



115 



curiosity does more; it leads us to the investigation of 
objects beyond the boundaries of time, and impels us 
to attempt a revelation of the great enigmas of eternity 
itself! The mind of man is naturally attached to truth, 
and always experiences pleasure in the discovery of it, 
when the disclosure is found beneficial to comfort, 
health, fame, or to enjoyments of any description; in 
all these cases, and innumerable others, we experience 
what may be called the pleasures of the understand- 
ing. But has not the human understanding also its 
pains? I think so ; we all know perfectly well, that 
the period of death must arrive: and does not this cer- 
tain anticipation give pain to thousands'? Is not the 
fear of death painful? I will admit that the uncertain- 
ty of the moment, wisely and benevolently hidden from 
us by Providence, in some measure blunts the painful 
anticipation of death ; but what are the mental pangs 
of the convict, who is given to understand that he 
must be executed to-morrow! Both the pleasures and 
pains of the understanding, have relation to the dis- 
covery of truth. Suppose a man be bitten by a serpent, 
of whose character he knows nothing ; is he not alarm- 
ed ? Suppose that he immediately discovers the reptile 
to be harmless; do not the mental pains of alarm 
cease: and does he not experience pleasure from the 
consciousness of security from danger? Here the 
pleasure of the understanding is derived from a benefi- 
cial discovery: but suppose he ascertain that the reptile 
by which he has been assailed is of a venomous and 
fatal character, and that he clearly understands his 
immediate destiny to be death, are not his mental pangs 
identified with the pains of the understanding? I have 
not space, in a work like this, to go into a philosophi- 
cal detail of the important truths connected with this 



116 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

subject; and regret to be compelled to differ from the 
authority of the great Doctor Rush, who alleges that 
the pleasures of the understanding have no antagonists 
in pain. A knowledge of facts, is the aggregate amount 
of the truths acquired by the operations of the under- 
standing: where these acquisitions of knowledge de- 
velop consequences beneficial to human enjoyment and 
happiness, they are always productive of pleasure to 
the mind, through the medium of the understanding: 
but where by the operations of the understanding, the 
mind is brought into a full view of dangerous and 
disastrous consequences, the results are always painful 
and unhappy. This I believe to be a full and fair 
statement of the case ; and were it not, I would like to 
know, what influence in the religious reformation of 
mankind could possibly be derived from faith in the 
belief of future rewards and punishments! Ignorant 
of consequences, what to man would be the happiness 
or misery of either prosperity or misfortune? And 
how are either to be calculated without the operations 
of the understanding? — can a man even calculate the 
results of a plain question in arithmetic, without the 
operations of this mental power? It is alone by the 
pervading and subtile powers of the understanding, that 
we are enabled to feel the realities of either intellectu- 
al pain or pleasure, happiness or misery. The memo- 
ry of man, acts upon nothing but facts and events 
which are past and gone; but the understanding oper- 
ates also on the present condition and circumstances 
of mankind, and even extends its views to futurity ; and 
these are the reasons why the pleasures and pains of 
the understanding, are more intense than those of the 
memory. These are also the reasons why we are led 
astray by the festivities of present dissipations and in- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 117 

temperance ; and these are also the true reasons, why 
we resort to the banquet and the flowing bowl, to drown 
both past and present sorrows connected with the mind. 
Thus we see, that both joys and sorrows are capable 
of producing habits of intemperance and dissipation: 
Physician, can your medical drugs restrain those joys, 
or remove those sorrows which spring from the mind 
itself, when all the maxims of moral wisdom and philo- 
sophy have failed ? No ; you must resort to the restrain- 
ing powers, and the consolations of religion and 
morality. 

The pleasures and pains of the imagination, com- 
mence where those of the memory and the under- 
standing terminate: and, there is this specific differ- 
ence between them ; the powers of the understanding 
and memory operate on facts and probabilities, while 
those of the imagination riot in the wild excesses of 
fiction, romance and absolute improbabilities. The 
range of the human imagination seems to be unlimited ; 
and what is very extraordinary, and something difficult 
to be accounted for, its vigor and creative powers, 
seem to be proportioned to the weakess and want of 
cultivation of the understanding. All the records 
which have descended to us from very ancient times, 
seem to favor the presumption that the empire of ima- 
gination, fiction, and romance, in the dark periods of 
antiquity, gave a tone and character to the human 
mind; and that the early records of history only teem 
with romantic fictions which defy belief, and with 
delineations of prodigies which never existed, because 
the philosophic investigations of the understanding 
had not yet corrected the errors of the imagination. 
It was probably for these reasons, that Homer in his 
"Tlliad" admits and describes a plurality of Gods; and 



118 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

that Ossian's fancy saw the ghosts of departed heroes 
who had been slain in battle, half viewless among the 
clouds of night. Had the progress and improvement 
of Homer's understanding, enabled him to arrive at 
the sublime conclusion which announces the existence 
of one great first cause, he never could have delinea- 
ted in poetic numbers the distinctive characters of his 
fictitious deities; and, had Ossian not been ignorant 
enough to believe in ghosts, his imagination never 
could have deceived him in the belief, that those of 
his forefathers were witnessing from the clouds, the 
sanguinary horrors of his battles? The fact seems to 
be, as I have said before, that the empire of imagination 
commences where the matter of fact and philosophic 
operatons of the understanding and memory cease; 
for I think it will not be contested, even by men of 
ordinary intelligence, that it is impossible to imagine 
the existence of a thing which we are convinced has 
no being; or to fancy a thing to be true, which we 
know to be a falsehood. Can any man imagine that 
sugar is bitter, gall sweet, or that two and two make 
five? No: the truth is, that a knowledge of facts and 
realities destroys all the frost works of fancy and fic- 
tion, and demonstrates clearly that philosophy and 
science have nearly extinguished the fire of poetic ge- 
nius. In other words, few men can be poets in this age 
of philosophic improvement, who will not borrow or 
steal from the old writers, or who cannot find subjects 
of poetic inspiration, on which little or nothing is or 
can be certainly known. Newton or Locke, would 
have cut as contemptible a figure in poetry, as Homer 
and Ossian would have exhibited in astronomy and 
metaphysics. 

We all know that the fire of the imagination is 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 119 

weakened and destroyed by old age and experience; 
and that those who always deal in fictions are always 
the victims of folly. The pleasures of imagination are 
always the most brilliant and powerful in the youthful 
mind ; and the reasons are obvious. This is the peri- 
od when all impressions made on the mind, by disclos- 
ing to us the opening beauties of nature, and the 
imposing splendors of creation, are entirely novel and 
without alloy. This is the period when none of the 
cares and anxieties of life, overshadow and begloom 
the fairy prospect of fancied and endless felicities to 
come; and this too is the period, when our youthful 
friendships are untainted by a knowledge of the base- 
ness and selfishness of mankind — and our loves of the 
supposed divinity of the female character, are unalloy- 
ed by those appalling discoveries of experience, wisdom 
and philosophy, which teach us that every thing human 
is imperfect, and unworthy of our idolatrous devotions! 
These are the reasons why many modern philosophers 
have been of opinion, that the state of savage and un- 
cultivated nature, as regards a more refined condition 
of the human mind, is much more conducive to human 
happiness than any other; for say these men, "where 
ignorance is bliss, it is surely folly to be wise." If 
these delusive fascinations of the imagination could 
continue through life, uncorrected by the bitter lessons 
of experience and wisdom; or if man could be so 
educated, as never to seek or experience happiness but 
in the realities of life and nature, the wild delusions of 
fancy would never lead his judgment astray in the pur- 
suits of happiness; nor would he ever be discontented 
with the moderate enjoyments which the realities of 
existence afford him. But, one of the most difficult 
lessons in wisdom and philosophy, is to be able to ac- 



120 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

quire and preserve through life that balance of charac- 
ter which preserves to us the innocent delusions of the 
fancy, without suffering them to interfere with, and 
ultimately to destroy our rational attachments to the 
colder realities of life. It is the want of this just equi- 
poise, between philosophic moderation and strength of 
judgment, and the acute sensibilities allied to a cultiva- 
ted imagination, that constitutes the real vortex in which 
so many men of enlightened and lofty genius have sunk 
to rise no more. Relying on the pleasures of imagi- 
nation for happiness in early life, never dreaming that 
they are in a world of sad realities, which will in- 
volve them in misfortunes against which nothing but 
the exercise of prudence and judgment can guard them, 
and continuing to enjoy the present moment, without 
looking forward to the probable and untoward contin- 
gencies of futurity — they are never aroused from their 
brilliant and illusory visions of fanciful and imaginary 
happiness, until they are overwhelmed with real mise- 
ries and misfortunes, and pressed upon by those impe- 
rious calls of want and necessity, which cannot be 
silenced by visionary or imaginary means. Here com- 
mence those pains of the imagination, those lacerations 
of sensibility, and those horrible anticipations of real 
and unmitigated suffering, which no human language 
can describe, and which are so often seen to goad the 
man of genius and superior endowments to dissipation 
and intemperance, and precipitate him to all the despe- 
rations attendant on ruined fortunes, and an early grave! 
This is the vortex that has swallowed thousands of the 
greatest men that ever existed; this is the bottomless 
ocean that has engulfed millions of the brightest and 
most useful men that ever had existence. It is useless 
to speak of the love of liquor being the cause of intern- 



GUNJN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 121 

perance, as applied to men of lofty and powerful ener- 
gies of mind, and it is worse than useless to attempt 
the reformation of such men, without knowing and 
reaching the real causes of their derelictions. Nearly 
all that has been written on the subject of intemper- 
ance, has been superficial and nugatory, and confined 
to the mere contemplation of its effects. Would you 
prescribe remedies for the mere effects of a disease* 
without knowing and striking at the real causes? 
Would you attempt to guard yourself against the point- 
ed dagger of an assassin, without paralyzing the arm 
that held it to your bosom? I will admit that you 
may remove the diseases and habits of intemperance, 
where they are merely connected with the corporeal 
system and physical sensations of men, and have noth- 
ing whatever to do with the mind, by the administra^ 
tion of medical drugs, which will act on that corporeal 
system, and by the substitution of new bodily habits for 
old ones; but, beyond these points you cannot go by 
physical means, when you advance on the confines of 
the mind, and the intellectual passions. Here you are 
in a new region, and must adapt your means to the 
origin and nature of the disease, you must employ the 
moral powers of dissuasive eloquence, the divine con- 
solations of religion, held out by scripture to erring and 
repentant man, and its denunciations against the con- 
duct of the self -de sir oyer; you must employ the max- 
ims of philosophy, and the admonitory precepts of true 
wisdom, you must soothe the victim of intemperate 
despair, with reasonable hopes of a better fate, instead 
of irritating him by abusive and degrading denuncia- 
tions, Slq. &lc. But, as this is a most important subject, 
I will endeavor to elucidate it a little further. When 
the causes of disease are connected with the mind and 

16 



122 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

its passions, mere physical restraints and even punish 
ments will amount to nothing in attempting a cure. 
There is a class of mankind, I will admit, who, like 
children whose moral susceptibilities cannot be acted 
upon, must be restrained from excesses, and even the 
commission of crimes, by ignominious corporeal terrors 
and punishments; this class of men always possesses 
more of the physical or corporeal, than of the moral 
and mental character, and must be acted on by pillories, 
whipping-posts, and sometimes gibbets. But, terrors 
and punishments whicK merely affect the body, have 
no influence with those men whose minds and passions 
are morbidly affected, or those who are under strong 
moral impressions of rectitude of conduct. The whole 
range of martyrs, who have suffered unspeakable tor- 
tures in the cause of religion and patriotism, demon- 
strate these facts. Would you then attempt to restrain 
from intemperance, by mere corporeal and physical 
means, the man whose mind and its passions are affect- 
ed? Certainly not; every man whose character is 
decidedly intellectual, feels that his native dignity is 
outraged and degraded by corporeal and ignominious 
restraints or punishments, and will in nine instances out 
of ten, destroy himself to escape from his own senti- 
ments of degradation. While the genius of conquest, 
in the person of Napoleon, was lowering by successive 
victories all the national banners of Europe, a French 
soldier of the line presented himself to the Emperor 
and desired to be shot. When interrogated as to his 
reasons, he replied that he had been sentenced to 
receive ignominious corporeal punishment for some 
misdeed, rather than to submit to which, he preferred 
death: the impression made on the mind of Napoleon 
was such, that ignominious corporeal punishments 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 123 

were immediately abolished throughout the French 
armies. 

It is almost needless to remark, on those passions of 
the mind, called hope, love, ambition, &c. — that they 
are all productive of pleasures and pains, in proportion 
as their influence is bounded by moderation, or char- 
acterised by excess. The pleasures of hope have 
been finely celebrated by Campbell; and are well 
known to have a powerful influence in blunting the 
miseries and misfortunes of mankind during life, and 
even in illuminating their anticipations of a happy im- 
mortality beyond the grave! But the pleasures of hope 
have their counterpoise of evils and miseries; and 
when indulged in to excess, or founded on visionary 
and impossible principles, frequently terminate in dis- 
appointment and despair. Here wisdom, fortitude 
religion and philosophy, arc probably the only essential 
and efficient preventatives, against these imtemperate 
palliatives of disappointed hope, which have led thou- 
sands to drown themselves, their fortunes and their 
miseries in the howl. The miseries of despair and 
disappointed hope, are seldom the portion of those 
whose educations have been moral and judicious, or 
who have been early taught to distinguish the realities 
of life, from those illusive and visionary expectations 
of it, which never can be realized even by the greatest 
prosperity. The visionary gildings with which youth- 
ful feeling and animating anticipation invest the untried 
scenes of life, always dissolve before the lessons of 
wisdom and experience; and where these privations 
arc followed by positive misfortunes from which there 
exists no hope of redemption, intemperance almost 
invariably succeeds, as the only remedy by which tem- 
porary alleviation can be obtained. But this conduct 



124 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

is founded in short-sighted and desperate policy; be- 
cause, to the mental pangs of misfortune, are always 
added the miseries of corporeal disease. 

Love is likewise an intellectual passion, and like 
hope is productive of pleasure and pain, happiness and 
misery. I have before spoken of this passion, as con- 
nected with the enjoyments and happiness of man; it 
now becomes my duty to take a brief view of the 
sombre colorings of the picture, and to develop some 
of the causes with which its miseries are connected. 
Love is always founded on perceptions of real or ima- 
ginary perfections; when this elevated and ennobling 
sentiment is based on the perception of qualities which 
really exist, it invariably leads to happiness, and is an 
unerring indication of superior wisdom ; but when it is 
founded in errors of the imagination, and in the false 
perception of merely visionary qualities which have no 
existence, it generally eventuates in misery, and is a 
decided mark of overweening stupidity and folly. The 
first step to misery, in wedded love, where the qualities 
of either of the parties are not sufficiently noble to sus- 
tain the passion, is the discovery of blemishes of 
person, disposition, mind or character, which were not 
known previously to marriage. This discovery produ- 
ces a chill of the affections, which leads to a more 
narrow and scrutinizing investigation of the causes of 
our having been deceived. If they are found to have 
originated with ourselves, we invariably undervalue 
and detest our own judgment, which could suffer us 
thus to be deceived, and immediately become dissatis- 
fied with ourselves ; and it requires no great exercise 
of wisdom to know, that those who are dissatisfied with 
themselves, are displeased with all those around them. 
On the contrary, if it is found on investigation that we 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 125 

have been deceived by the hypocrisy of the individual 
to whom we are tied by bonds which death alone can 
dissolve, contempt and detestation are the inevitable 
consequences; for it is no more possible for a man or 
woman of moral discernment to love an unworthy ob- 
ject, knowing it to be such, than it is for a human being 
to hate the presence of virtue combined with peerless 
beauty. Here then commences that series of domestic 
and conjugal miseries, which defies and baffles the 
power of mere language to describe: and the parties 
soon become estranged from, and perfectly hateful to 
each other. Home becomes a hell; the tavern and 
gaming table are resorted to; to bad company habits 
of intemperance succeed, and the event is, death by 
confirmed habits of intoxication, or life embittered by 
negligence, disease, poverty and want! I am the more 
particular in mentioning the effects of Hove to hatred 
turned," and in tracing those effects to their causes, not 
only because the picture which is true to life may be 
instrumental in preventing deceptions and hypocrisy 
in courtship, but because it may have a tendency to 
illustrate the eternal truth, that no miseries can ever 
be drowned in the midnight bowl, unless the chalice 

contain the poison of death itself! 1 said that love 

was always founded on the perception of real or vision- 
ary perfections ; with that founded on amiable and noble 
qualities, I have here nothing to do, because it is al- 
ways permanent, and always unshaken by misfortunes. 
This position requires no further proof, than can be 
found in every country, and in the sphere of every 
man's observations on life. Where, however, the at- 
tachment is founded on illusory perceptions, it is not 
only short lived in itself, but eternally liable to destruc- 
tion by variations of fortune. Some persons, indeed 



126 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

all individuals of the human species are formed by 
nature for enjoying the felicities of attachment and 
love. With these elementary principles, and with a 
heart alive to the tenderest sensibilities, the devourer of 
novels and romances, in which the human character is 
invested with perfections that never pertained to it, is 
peculiarly liable to miseries and misfortunes in love. I 
say once for all, and wish it to be borne in mind by the 
reader, that no inordinate and excessive passion, not 
even that of love itself, was ever the offspring of cor- 
rect perceptions of human nature, such as it really is. 
Where is the man or woman of reflection, who does 
not know that human nature is not perfection; and 
who is not perfectly convinced, that it is a compound 
of personal and moral beauties and imperfections. 
Those who are in time made acquainted with these 
philosophic truths, and have early learned to know that 
man is a compound, to say the best we can of him, of 
virtue and vice, strength and weakness, wisdom and 
folly, will never experience any of the passions in their 
extremes. Their loves and hatreds, their friendships 
and enmities, and indeed all their other passions, are 
true to nature, and therefore always characterized by 
moderation. Loves and hatreds are only felt in the 
extreme, because in the former case we are blind to 
imperfections which really exist; and because in the 
latter instances, we shut our eyes against many noble 
traits of character, which would mitigate our unquali- 
fied hatreds. The same may be said of our friendships 
and enmities, and indeed of all our other passions: 
even the sneaking scoundrel avarice, if he did not 
overrate the objects of his desires, would abandon his 
swindling propensities, and relax his gripe on the mise- 
ries and misfortunes of mankind. It is the immoderate 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 127 

overrating of the objects of our passions, that produces 
all their excesses; against which no human being can 
be guarded, unless through the medium of wisdom and 
intelligence, which alone can stamp the genuine value 
on every object of human desire or pursuit. Few in- 
stauces arc to be found on record, where the miseries 
of disappointed love have been experienced in the 
extreme, by persons whose errors of imagination had 
been corrected by experience, and the acquisitions of 
true wisdom; and even where all the agonies of dis- 
appointed love have been felt in their excesses, they 
produce different effects upon the different sexes.^ On 
woman, they induce a disposition for retirement and a 
solitary life, which sometimes ends in confirmed melan- 
choly, sometimes in insanity, and not unfrequently in a 
broken heart With man, on the other hand, the ex- 
cesses of unfortunate love produce very different effects, 
they urge him to mix in crowded assemblies, in the 
hum of business, and in the haunts of men; they dis- 
pose him to attempt a forgetfulness of his miseries, by 
exploring new scenes of life, in countries to which he 
is a stranger, by encountering the dangers of the field 
and flood ; and by drowning the memory of his mis- 
fortunes in the oblivion of the bowl! 

Of the miseries of ambition, and the excesses to 
which they lead, the space allotted will not allow much 
to be said. Like love, the passion of ambition, both 
in moderation and excess, depends for strength on the 
value we set on subjects of ambitious desire. To those 
whose wisdom teaches them the true value of earthly 
objects, the passion of ambition is always productive of 
enjoyments; but. when an over-estimate of the objects 
of ambitious pursuit, arises from false though dazzling 
perception- of those objects, the passion always 



128 GUNNsS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

acquires an uncontrolled dominion in the human breast, 
producing misery to the individual, and frequently the 
most dreadful desolations to society and mankind. 
When ambition is confined to moral bounds, in other 
words, where it is restricted to doing good, it becomes 
a powerful auxiliary to religion and morality, and to 
the peace and happiness of mankind. 

"But, talents angel bright, if wanting worth, 
Are shining instruments in false ambition" 1 s hand, 
To finish faults illustrious, and give infamy renown!'''' 

Where ambition is laudable, and restricted to benefi- 
cent and moral objects, it serves to dignify and adorn 
the human character: and even where thus character- 
ized, it meets with failures and disappointments, it pro- 
duces no serious and lasting miseries to its votaries. 
The real passion of ambition is of a heaven-born char- 
acter ; it is founded in a strong desire to be remember- 
ed with gratitude and admiration by posterity and 
future ages — and is the legitimate offspring of a vital 
and deep-seated sentiment of immortality! We see 
its indications in every department of life, and in every 
age of the world. The monumental inscriptions of 
ancient times ; the mummied catacombs, and the great 
pyramids of Egypt themselves, bear witness of the 
universal prevalence of this all-absorbing sentiment of 
immortality, and of the dreadful contemplations which 
accompany the anticipations of being swept from hu- 
man memory by the hand of time! The desire to be 
remembered, is as obvious in the school-boy who in- 
scribes his name on a tree or a rock, as in the lofty and 
headlong careers of Charlemagne, Alexander and 
Napoleon: — who desolated nations and overturned em- 
pires, to give their achievements to posterity and future 
ages. — When the passion of ambition, of whatever 
grade, or to whatever objects directed, is disappointed 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE; 129 

in its expectations, it invariably leads to dissatisfaction 
with life and mankind, and frequently plunges its vota- 
ries into the vortex of intemperance and debauchery. 
These effects are not only confined to the ambition of 
men possessing lofty and powerful energies of mind, 
whose objects of ambition are correspondent in eleva- 
tion, but they are discoverable in all the inferior orders 
of society, and in all the subordinate ranks of intellect 
ual power: they are in fact, as observable in the Casar 
who is disappointed in the possession of an imperial 
crown, as in the humble votary of literature and 
science, or the hook-fingered and swindling devotee of 
avarice, with whom wealth is the idol of adoration! 
Let any of these men, be finally and permanently dis- 
appointed in the first and great objects of their ambi- 
tion, and if they are destitute of resolution, fortitude, 
wisdom, and philosophical energy of intellect, they 
invariably sink in the whirlpool of intemperance, de- 
bauchery, and sottishness:— Alexander the Great died 
from the influence of a fit of intemperance, because 
probably he had no more worlds to conquer; and it is 
needless to advert to the thousands of instances which 
every where present themselves, of men of all ranks 
and grades of life, who sink into insignificance and 
obscurity, from the effects of intemperance brought on 
them by disappointed ambition. 

I have now, I think, shown some of the various 
causes of intemperance, and probably to the satisfac- 
tion of reflecting men, traced some of them to the 
physical and mental constitutions of men: as far as it 
is practicable to be done by observations of mere 
effects. In this brief essay, by no means correspond- 
ent with the importance of the subject, I have neither 
followed nor profited by the hacknied theories which 

17 



130 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

have heretofore been published; I have endeavored to 
view human nature such as it is, and to remark the 
developments of the causes of intemperance, such as 
they have appeared to me in my medical pursuits ; and 
if I have not been as successful as might be desired by 
medical men who are the real friends of humanity, I 
may at least have furnished some materials which may 
be useful to such fathers of the profession, as Mitchell, 
Physic, Hossack, and many others, who are engaged 
in developing the mysticisms of medical science, and 
rendering them intelligible to mankind. 



REMARKS, 

PRELIMINARY TO THE 

MEDICAL PORTION OF THIS WORK. 



I have now done with the passions most material to 
be thought of in a work like this. I think I have 
spoken of them as they deserve; and as being the real 
causes of very many and obstinate diseases; and I 
also think, without any sort of vanity on the subject, 
that I have taken views of them which are not only 
new, but such as will be satisfactory to men who are 
pleased with common sense, and matter-of-fact dis- 
closures, instead of visionary theories, and old doctrines 
that have been worn thread-bare by repetition. Where 
I have found the essences of the passions beyond the 
reach of investigation, I have freely confessed the truth ; 
being determined not to veil my ignorance of what is 
most likely hidden from us by divine wisdom, by long 
sounding words which when explained would make 
men of common sense laugh at medical quackery, and 
by technical language which means next to nothing. 
I have spoken of the passions as I have seen and wit- 
nessed their effects on the human system, and on the 
peace and happiness of society generally ; and particu- 
larly as regards intemperance, or rather excess in 
fear — joy — anger — -jealousy — love — grief — religion — 
gluttony and drunkenness, I have ventured to go as far 
into some of the remote and constitutional causes of 



132 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

them, as I possibly could without running into mere 
theories, not supported by the experience of mankind. 
In treating of them I have been limited much by want 
of space; and have therefore in some instances, been 
compelled to comprise as much information as possible 
in a few words: and I must also observe here, that on 
intemperance, religion, love, jealousy and anger, I have 
extended my remarks further than on the rest of the 
passions; because I consider them of vastly more im- 
portance to the health and happiness, and to the dis- 
eases and miseries of mankind, than all the rest of the 
passions put together. I have classed religion and 
intemperance under the head of the passions, because 
all our desires and aversions become passions, when 
they become too strong to be controlled and moderated 
by moral sense and reason ; and if even these were not 
the facts, mere names are nothing but blinds, frequent- 
ly placed by the learned between the reader and the 
realities of things, to conceal the naked poverty and 
barrenness of the sciences, as professed by literary 
men. If our education consisted more in a knowledge 
of things, and less in a knowledge of mere words than 
it does, and if the great mass of the people knew how 
much pains were taken by scientific men, to throw dust 
in their eyes by the use of ridiculous and high-sound- 
ing terms, which mean very little if any thing, the 
learned professors of science would soon lose much of 
their mock dignity, and mankind would soon be unde- 
ceived, as to the little difference that really exists be- 
tween themselves and the very learned portion of the 
community. I am the more particular on this subject, 
not because I wish to lower the public opinion respect- 
ing the real value of medical knowledge, but because 
the time has arrived when the hypocrisy which has 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 133 

attached itself to religion, the pettifogging dissimula- 
tion which has crept into the practice and science of 
law, and the quackeries which have so long disgraced 
the practice and science of medicine, are about to be 
scattered to the four winds of heaven, by the progress 
of real knowledge, and the general diffusion of useful 
intelligence. The great body of the people are begin- 
ning to find out as I remarked in substance in my dedi- 
cation — that when we take from the learned sciences 
all their technical and bombastic language, they imme- 
diately become plain common sense, very easily to be 
understood by all ranks of men. I have also said in 
that same dedication, and I now repeat it, that the 
really valuable materials in medicine, and those which 
are the most powerful in the cure of diseases, are few 
and simple, and very easily to be procured in all coun- 
tries; and on this subject I will say something more 
which may probably be considered new. I not only 
believe, that every country produces, or can be made 
to produce, whatever is necessary to the wants of its 
inhabitants — but also whatever is essential to the cure 
of diseases incidental to each country; it is by no 
means probable, that an all-wise creator would create 
man with wants he could not supply, and subject him 
to diseases for which there were no remedies to be 
found in nature, and in all the different countries and 
climates of which he is an inhabitant. If such were 
not the facts, how miserable would be the condition of 
the human species; eternally harrassed by the calls of 
wants which could not be satisfied, and afflicted with 
diseases for which they could find neither the means 
of alleviation nor cure! How did the Indian nations 
of this country become so populous and powerful, un- 
less from finding the means of supplying their wants, 



134 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and of mitigating and curing their diseases, on the soil 
and in the countries which gave them birth? The fact 
is, that this country, like all other countries, produces 
spontaneously, or can be made to produce by the 
genius and industry of its inhabitants, all that is requir- 
ed by the wants of the people, and all that is essential 
in medical science; and the sooner we set about find- 
ing out, and fully exploring the resources of our own 
country, the sooner will we be clear of the abuses and 
countless impositions in the adulteration of medical 
drugs ; and the sooner will we be exempted from indi- 
vidual and national dependence on other nations. 
There are many drugs that come from abroad, that are 
made good for nothing, by adulterations or mixture 
before they reach us, or lose their virtues by long stand- 
ing and exposure; and any professed druggist if he 
will tell you the truth, will tell you the same; and 
these among many others, are the reasons why I mean 
to be very particular in showing you, as respects the 
plants and roots, &c. of this country, not only how 
great are our resources, but how easily we can evade 
roguery and imposition, and obtain pure and unadul- 
terated materials in medicine, if we will be industrious 
in developing the real resources of this country. The 
science of botany, like many others I could name, has 
dwindled into mere mummery and hard sounding 
names of plants, &c. I can find you, indeed you can 
easily find them yourselves, very many individuals pro- 
foundly learned in botany, who can tell you all about 
the genus and species of plants and herbs, and can 
call them individually by their long Latin names, who 
can tell you nothing whatever about their use to man- 
kind, or whether they are poisonous or otherwise; and 
I want to know whether such information, or rather 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 135 

such want of information, is not mere learning without 
wisdom, and science without knowledge. But why 
need I speak of the science of botany alone, as having 
sunk into frivolity and superficial nonsense; the same 
may be said of many other of the sciences, which were 
in their origin and early progress useful to mankind. 
Real knowledge consists in understanding both what 
is useful and what is injurious to mankind; and true 
wisdom amounts to nothing more than appropriating to 
our use whatever is beneficial, and avoiding whatever 
is injurious to our enjoyments and happiness: this is 
the true distinction between common sense and non- 
sense; or if you will have the same idea in finer lan- 
guage, between wisdom and folly. For the common 
and useful purposes of mankind, the refined fripperies 
and hair-drawn theories of mere science, are of no use 
whatever; indeed they never have had much other 
effect, than to excite a stupid admiration for men who 
pretended to know more than the mass of mankind: 
and it is this stupid admiration, this willingness to be 
duped by the impudent pretensions of science and 
quackery combined, that has led to impositions and 
barefaced frauds upon society, without number. Wher- 
ever artifice is used, it is either to cover defects, or to 
perpetuate impositions and frauds ; and if you wish to 
know how much of this artifice is in vogue in the 
science and practice of medicine, ask some physician 
of eminence to give you in plain common English, the 
meaning of those mysterious and high-sounding names 
you see plastered on bottles, glass jars, gallipots and 
drawers in a drug store, or doctor's shop. There you 
may see in large and imposing capitals — Datura Stra- 
monium, which simply means Stinkweed or vulgarly 
Jamestown weed: Tanacetum Vulgnre. which in Eng- 



136 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



lish means Common Tansy: Chenopodium Anthel- 
menticum, good heaven! what a name for Jerusalem 
Oak: Spigeha Marilandica, which means nothing more 
nor less than Pink Root: Alium Sativum, which means 
Gloves of Garlic: and who would ever suppose, unless 
he were previously initiated into the sublime mysteries 
of the "Physicians' Materia Medica," that Cantharis 
Vittata was the Potato Fly— that Hedeoma Pulegioides, 
was merely the common plant Pennyroyal: that Phy- 
tolacca Decandra was nothing but Poke weed: that 
Panax Quinquefolium was nothing but Ginseng: that 
Rubus Villosus meant in plain English, the Blackber- 
ry: that Egpatorium Perfoliatum was nothing but 
Bone-set: that Polygala Seneka was Snake Root: that 
Laurus Benzoin was no more than Spice-wood: that 
Asarium Canadense was Wild Ginger: that Babtisca 
Tinctoria was only another name for Wild Indigo: 
that Hydrastic Canadensis was nothing but Yellow 
Root: that Podophyllum Peltatum was merely the 
May Apple, or common Jalap of the shops: Sanguina- 
ria Canadensis, was no more than the Puccoon or 
Blood Root, well known to every old woman in the 
state: that Cornus Florida was nothing but Dogwood: 
that Gillenia Frifolliata was merely Indian Physic: that 
Symplocarpus Fcetida was nothing but Skunk Cab- 
bage: that Anthemis Cotula was the Wild Cammo- 
mile: that Lobelia Inflata was nothing but Wild To- 
bacco: that Comptonia Asplenifolia was only the Sweet 
Fern: — and so on to the end of the chapter. But, on 
consideration of the importance of this information, I 
will add a few more instances of the shameful imposi- 
tions practised on the mass of the people, by the quack- 
eries connected with Medical Science. They are as 
follows: — Oleum Ricini, meaning Castor Oil: Un- 



GTJ.WS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 137 

guenlum Picis Liquids meaning Tar Ointment: 
Oleum Tereginthinm meaning the Oil of Turpentine: 
Zanthoxylum Clara Herculis meaning the common 
Prickly Ash of our country: Sal. Nitre meaning Salt 
Petrc: Tartarized Antimony meaning Emetic Tar- 
tar: Sulphate Soda meaning nothing but Epsom Salts: 
Ruta Graveslens meaning our common Garden Rue: 
Salva Officinalis, the common Sage; Sambucus Ni- 
gra, common Elder: Serpentaria Virginiana, Vir- 
ginia Snake Root: Myrtis Pimento, common Pepper: 
Ulmus Americana, meaning Red Elm: Aqua Calcis 
meaning Lime Water: and Carbo Ligni, Charcoal of 
Wood!! These I think, are fair specimens of the use- 
less technical terms and phrases, with which the 
science of medicine has been encumbered by a policy 
hostile to the interests of every community; in which 
the reader will easily distinguish, if he will look one 
foot beyond his nose, not only that big words and high- 
sounding phrases are not superior wisdom, but that 
three fourths of the whole science of plrysic, as now 
practiced and imposed upon the common people* 
amounts to nothing but fudge and mummery. In fact 
it has always seemed to me, whenever I have reflected 
seriously on this subject, that all these hard names of 
common and daily objects of contemplation, were ori- 
ginally made use of to astonish the people; and to aid 
what the world calls learned men, in deceptions and 
fraud. The more nearly we can place men on a level 
in point of knowledge, the happier we would become 
in society with each other, and the less danger there 
would be of tyranny on the one hand, and submis- 
sion to the degradations of personal slavery on the 
other: nor are these all the benefits that would certain^ 

ly arise from a more equal distribution of useful 

18 



138 CUNY'S DOMESTIC .MEDICINE. 

information among the people. We all know perfectly 
well, and if we do not we ought to do so, that there 
are two ways of acquiring a greater name than com- 
mon among men. One is by putting on affected airs 
of superior wisdom, and the concealment of weakness 
and ignorance, to which all men are subject: and the 
other is, by exhibiting to the world, great and useful 
energies of mind and character, of which nothing can 
be a more decisive proof, than success in our under- 
takings. But this is not all; the less we know of the 
weaknesses and imperfections of what the world calls 
great men, the more we are disposed to overrate their 
merits and wisdom, and to become their humble follow- 
ers, admirers, and slaves. This is the reason why I 
wish to impress upon your minds, the simple and im- 
portant truth, that there is not so great a difference 
between men as there appears to be ; and that you are 
always to find out in the characters of men, the differ- 
ence between impudent presumption, which seeks to 
blind you to defects, and modest and unassuming 
merit, which is above hypocrisy and deception. On 
the other hand, I wish you to remember, that the more 
we know of the ignorance and weaknesses of great 
men, ignorance and weaknesses which they all have, 
however they may try to hide them, the more easily 
we will feel ourselves on a level with them, the less we 
will be compelled to think of their assumed superiority, 
and consequently the less danger there will be of our 
becoming their most humble followers, their tools of 
dirty purposes, and in fact their slaves. The fact is, if 
we would always strip the fine coat, the ruffled shirt, 
the well-blacked boots, and what would be better than 
all, the hypocrisy and presumption, from about those 
who pretend to lord it over us ; and if we could always 



C CNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 139 

hit the true medium of truth and justice, in forming 
our opinions of each other, there would be much less 
fraud in this world than there is: for you may rest 
assured, and I desire you most particularly to fix it in 
your memory, that no man or junto of men, ever yet 
attempted to cheat or impose on your credulity, with- 
out first forming a contemptuous opinion of your dis- 
cernment; in other words, all attempts to cheat and 
deceive you, are direct insults to your understand- 
ings. With these remarks, in which I have been as 
plain as possible in point of language: in order that 
you might the better understand my meaning, I will 
now go on to describe to you, in as plain language as 
can be made use of, all the diseases we are most lia- 
ble to in this country, and all the best remedies for 
those which are brought to us from other countries. I 
intend also to describe particularly all the roots, and 
plants, and so on, which we have about us in our gar- 
dens, barn-yards, fields and woods, which are useful in 
the cure of diseases. These will be important consi- 
derations, because I am convinced we have many 
things the most common about us, that as medicines 
are as good as any in the world, and the knowledge 
of which by the people themselves, will enable them 
to cure their own diseases in many instances, and avoid 
many and great expenses. The language I will make 
use of, as I said before, will be extremely plain, the 
object of the work being, not so much to instruct the 
learned as the unlearned; nor will I regard in the 
slightest degree, any of those petty critical remarks, 
which may be made on such language, provided I 
succeed in adopting language which can be understood 
by those for whom this work is intended. And here I 
cannot avoid remarking, that since this work of mine 



140 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

was commenced, and measurably finished, I have 
received from New York, the first number of a period- 
ical work on the same plan that this is, to be written 
by some of the greatest medical men in the United 
States, some of whom are Mitchill, Hossack, Mott, 
McNeven, &c. These gentlemen, as well as myself, 
are convinced that the time has come, when all the 
mysteries and technical language of the science of 
medicine, must be made plain to the people of this 
country, and when the old frauds and quackeries of 
the profession must be laid down, and discontinued in 
practice. I am gratified, that men whose names have 
so much weight, have undertaken to make the science 
of medicine plain; because otherwise I should have 
stood alone in the great attempt, and had to contend 
with all the petty critical remarks, of all the petty pro- 
fessors of the science, and all those who wish to make 
a mystery, of what every man in the community is fully 
able to understand if well explained. 

Before concluding these observations, it may not be 
improper to make some remarks, intended for the more 
youthful portion of those into whose hands this work 
may fall. Some of the diseases I am compelled to 
mention and explain, necessarily relate to a sex whose 
weaknesses and delicacies of constitution, entitle them 
to the highest respect, and the most tender considera- 
tion: nor can any youth be guilty of a more flagrant 
breach of humanity, nor more completely disclose a 
brutal and unfeeling disposition, than by manifesting a 
wish to turn into unfeeling ridicule, the diseases and 
calamities of women: I would at once pronounce such 
a young man a brute, a poltroon, and a coward. But 
I am confident there are few if any such in this coun- 
try, because there are few or none who will not recoU 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 141 

lect, that their venerable mothers were of the female 
sex, and that they have probably sisters and other rela- 
tives of the same sex. I wish the younger portion of 
my readers also to recollect, and I most respectfully 
request them to do so — that when perusing my book, 
on the various diseases to which the human body is 
liable, as to their uncertainty of life, and the slender 
thread on which it hangs, I wish them to remember, 
how unknown to them are the vicissitudes of the world ; 
how easily they may be thrown into strange lands, 
destitute, friendless, and afflicted: I wish them to en- 
grave on their minds, that sacred rule of doing all 
things to others, which they would wish others should 
do unto them: that they would always let the tear of 
sympathy drop for their fellow creatures in affliction 
and distress, and always let their hearts melt at the 
tale of human woe, for which God will bless them in 
all their works, 



ON SLEEP. 

"What better name may slumber's bed become? 

Night's sepulchre, the universal home. 

When weakness, strength, vice, virtue sunk supine, 

Alike in naked helplessness recline; 

Glad for a while to heave unconscious breath, 

And wake to wrestle with the dread of death." 

To exist as it were between death and life; to rove 
in imagination, unfettered by the cold and strong reali- 
ties of waking existence, through a boundless realm of 
visions which seem real; this is what we call sleep, 
without knowing much of any thing about its causes. 
The real cause of sleep has been a matter of much 
guessing and speculation with medical men ; even very 
learned philosophers have disagreed in opinion re- 
specting the cause of sleep, and nearly all the little we 
know on the subject is, that when the sable curtain of 
night is drawn around us, the mind and body worn out 
and exhausted by the fatigues of the day, sink into soft 
repose. 

Napoleon, whose genius seemed capable of seizing 
every subject of contemplation with a giant grasp, re- 
marked while distinguishing between sleep and death, 
that sleep was the suspension of the voluntary powers 
of man: — and that death was a suspension of those 
that were involuntary. This was probably the most 
correct distinction between sleep and death, that has 
ever to my knowledge been drawn by any man ; and 
I will endeavor to explain as clearly as possible, what 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 143 

I think he intended by it. When we lie down to sleep, 
we voluntarily exclude the operation of the senses; in 
other words, we see nothing, hear nothing, feel noth- 1 
ing, smell nothing, and taste nothing; and endeavor to 
think of nothing — this is as far as we can go in the 
matter, for no man can possibly tell when he falls asleep, 
or in other words, when an entire suspension of the 
voluntary powers of the body and mind take place. 
While in this situation, however, we know that the 
sleeper breathes, that his heart beats, that the blood 
circulates, that the stomach digests its food, and that 
perspiration takes place: now, as the will of the sleeper 
has nothing to do with these matters, they depend upon 
the involuntary powers of the human system, and when 
these powers cease, death takes place. This is as far 
as we can go as regards sleep and death, for as to 
dreams and their causes, all we can tell about them 
simply is, that during sleep the mind and imagination 
act with such brightness and power, as to leave strong 
impressions on the waking memory; I say the mind 
and imagination, because we not only distinguish ob- 
jects as if they were present, but because we can and 
sometimes actually do reason about them and that too 
very correctly. 

It is impossible for us to enjoy good health, unless 
blessed with sound and refreshing sleep: without sleep 
the whole frame is thrown into disorder, and a strong 
disposition to disease; and the mind is much confused 
and weakened. Without the due repose of sleep, the 
appetite for food is depraved and sometimes lost; the 
health and strength fail; and the spirits become dis- 
tressed and melancholy in the extreme. The acrid 
matter is thrown off during sleep, insensible perspira- 
tion is increased, and the body increases in growth in 



144 UUJN'N'S DOMESTIC MED1CIAE, 

a greater degree than when awake and actively em- 
ployed. You are much taller in the morning when 
rising from a refreshing sleep, than during or after a 
day of severe fatigue. Sleep assists much in the cure 
of diseases, and may be considered, if sound and 
refreshing, a favorable symptom of recovery in sick- 
ness. It is a welcome visitor in fevers, because it 
diminishes the rapid motion of the blood, and conse- 
quently cools and refreshes the system. It is of infin- 
ite benefit in dysentery or flux, because it restrains the 
frequency of the stools; also in female diseases — in 
consumptions, rheumatisms, pleurisies, and in flooding ; 
in fact, the cure of almost all diseases require sound 
and refreshing sleep, and so well known was this fact 
to a physician of great eminence, that he seldom or 
never gave his patients operative medicines, before he 
had produced sound sleep by the administration of an 
opiate. The body receives nourishment during sleep ; 
and this is the reason why the growth is greatly promo- 
ted by sleep: all men who are inclined to obesity or 
fatness, sleep much. All young plants grow in the 
night time; indeed all young animals grow in the night 
while sleeping; and this is the reason why children 
require more sleep than grown persons. 

I have already told you in my introduction, that man 
is a creature of habit, and may therefore accustom 
himself to almost any thing by practice. Napoleon 
had an alarum watch, for the purpose of awaking him 
at any hour he chose. During a campaign^ one of 
his field officers entered his tent at two o'clock in the 
morning, having some important business with him* 
Contrary to his expectation, he found the emperor up 
and dressed, and employed in laying off the plan for 
the battle of the next day, and addressed him thus:— 



UUNN>S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



145 



u you are up late emperor." "O no," said Napoleon, 
U I have just risen; my sleep is over." After calling 
for his coffee, his usual practice immediately on rising, 
he communicated to the officer the method he had fol- 
lowed, to ascertain the time of sleep required by his 
constitution. "I had," said he, "been accustomed to 
awake every night, after sleeping five or six hours, and 
to continue awake during the remainder of the night. 
This led me to believe that I remained longer in bed, 
than nature and my constitution required; and deter- 
mined me by this alarum watch, to abridge my hours 
of sleep ten minutes each night, by rising ten minutes 
earlier. I soon discovered how much sleep nature 
required, by the length of time I slept soundly, which 
was only five hours. I have since continued this prac- 
tice, and find my health good, and nature sufficiently 
restored and refreshed by it. When in actual service, 
and my mind much employed, my usual time of sleep 
is but four hours, from eleven till three inclusive, &,c." 
As in all other cases, too much or too little sleep, pro- 
duces injury to health and strength of body and viva- 
city of mind and feelings. The bed in which we 
sleep for comfort and health is very important: the use 
of feather beds, particularly in the summer season, is 
extremely unhealthy ; and how persons can lie snoring, 
soaking and sweating, in a huge feather bed for eight 
or nine hours at a time, which is usual with many of 
the wealthy people of the western country, is to me 
perfectly astonishing; and I wish them to understand 
distinctly, that by so doing the following consequences 
inevitably follow. Their flesh becomes soft, flabby, 
pale, and weak: the digestive organs of the stomach 
become relaxed, feeble, and of no account, as is proved 
h\ thr want of appetite; in fact, the wholo musctilif 

19 



146 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and nervous systems, become so impaired and lost in 
tone and vigor, as to be incapable of performing the 
duties assigned to them by nature. A matress made 
of shucks, nicely cleaned and hackled, forms a delight- 
ful bed for summer ; and if you would enjoy sleep to 
the extent which is essential to health and strength, 
avoid a feather bed as you would the plague, and sleep 
on matresses of some kind, or on a straw bed, or even 
pick out the softest plank in the floor and stretch your- 
self on it. It is worthy of observation that most per- 
sons who sleep hard, are more healthy and lively than 
others: look at the Indians who sleep on deer and 
bear skins: look at soldiers who sleep on blankets; and 
at wagoners, who always on journies, sleep on hard 
matresses on the floors of houses, or on the hard 
ground in tents. And it is worthy of particular re- 
mark, that a hard bed promotes digestion, and prevents 
incubus or night-mare, that demon of indigestion which 
is a scourge of thousands. All asthmatic persons, or 
in other words, those who have the phthisic, should 
sleep hard, and in refreshing and pure air; feather 
beds in close rooms are murdering thousands of these 
people by inches. Many people are subject at night, 
to palpitations of the heart, shortness of breath which 
seems to threaten suffocation, great anxiety and depres- 
sion of spirits, uneasiness for which they cannot ac- 
count, tremors, and so on, usually called nervous. 
These people ought always to sleep on hard beds and 
in pure air: and they ought always, in warm weather, 
to wash or sponge their bodies with cold water, taking 
care immediately after to wipe themselves dry with a 
coarse towel, and then to use the flesh-brush; this 
course of proceeding will, just before going to bed, 
produce sound and refreshing sleep. Warm bathing 



V 

GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 147 

of the feet before going to bed, is of infinite service in 
causing sound sleep; the bath ought to have a little 
salt in it, and to be continued fifteen or twenty min- 
utes; after which the feet ought to be wiped dry, and 
well brushed with a flesh-brush: persons subject to 
cold feet, and those much advanced in age, will find 
much benefit from the flesh-brush, and from wrapping 
their feet in well dried flannel before going to bed. 
When we lie down to sleep every painful thought and 
unpleasant circumstance, should if possible be banish- 
ed from the mind ; and we should always endeavor to 
turn our meditations into channels, which will leave 
tranquil and soothing impressions behind them when 
we fall asleep. Dr. Franklin's rules for sleeping well, 
and having pleasant dreams, are very plain: he says — 
"eat moderately during the day, and avoid heavy sup- 
pers; sleep on a hard bed with your feet to the fire, 
especially in very cold weather; and above all, during 
the day take sufficient exercise. If you awake from a 
sense of uneasiness or accident, and cannot again 
compose yourself to sleep, get out of the bed and throw 
open the bed-clothes, and expose your naked body to 
the action of the cold air, there is no danger of taking- 
cold. When the cold air becomes unpleasant, return 
to bed ; your skin has by this time discharged its per- 
spirable matter, and you will soon fall asleep, and your 
sleep will be sound and refreshing. I have frequently 
tried this method with success, and find after exposing 
my body to the cold air, a quick desire to sleep. I 
therefore recommend it as free from any danger of 
taking cold. Persons unaccustomed to this method 
should gradually accustom themselves to a free circu- 
lation of air. The higher and more airy the bed- 
chamber, the better for health." As man is the crea- 



148 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ture of habit, he may bring himself gradually to bear 
almost any exposure ; but great and sudden changes in 
our habits should always be avoided. Small close bed 
rooms, and particularly bed curtains, should always be 
avoided, and for this reason, in close rooms and cur- 
tained beds, you breathe unchanged air, which has 
become impure from previous breathing. As boiling 
water does not grow hotter by long boiling, if the parti- 
cles that receive greater heat can escape, so living 
bodies do not putrify and become corrupt, if the parti- 
cles as fast as they become corrupted, can be thrown off 
Nature always expels much bad and corrupted mat- 
ter, by the pores of the skin and lungs: you may easily 
prove this to yourself, if your nose is sufficiently sharp, 
by catching a scent of the breath and sweat of many 
persons. In a free and pure air, the corrupted perspi- 
rable matter from the skin is immediately carried off; 
but in a close room or bed, or in a dirty bed even in 
pure air, these particles of bad matter are not carried 
off, and sickness is nearly always the consequence. 
Dirty rooms and beds cause a great deal of disease, 
and persons cannot easily be too cleanly in their habits 
if they wish to be healthy; but I will say more on this 
subject when I come to speak of baths. In close 
rooms or dirty beds, we breathe the same bad and 
corrupted air, over and over again, so that at every 
moment it becomes more injurious. Confined air, 
when saturated or filled with perspirable matter, must 
remain with us, and produces many of our diseases. 
Persons who are inclined to be fat, or who are in reali- 
ty so, should sleep on hard beds — take a great deal of 
exercise — never sleep more than five or six hours — and 
use well the flesh brush, particularly over the joints. 
By these means, together with a proper regimen, which 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 149 

ti icons food and drink, the bulk of the body may be 
reduced, and the flesh made firm and strong. 

Nothing undermines and destroys the health and 
constitution, with so much rapidity as want of sleep: 
gamesters, courtezans, debauchees, and in fact all those 
who lose much sleep, prove by their pale and sallow 
complexions, the want of "nature's sweet restorer." 
Many instances have been known in London and oth- 
er large cities, where the waiters and servants in gam- 
ing houses, have become absolutely insane or crazy 
for want of sleep. A person by long sitting up and 
losing sleep, may at length become unable to sleep, 
from extreme irritability of the nervous system; there- 
fore persons of an irritable habit should always be 
cautious of such circumstances. I have known many 
instances of apoplexy being produced by want of sleep: 
persons should therefore, when such cases are appre- 
hended, bathe their feet in warm water when they 
lie down, and take a dose of cooling medicine, such 
as Epsom salts; or in case of fever, lose a little blood, 
and take a slight opiate. More, however, will be said 
on the subject of sleep, and its diminution and excesses, 
under the head of exercise. 



EXERCISE. 

If you would enjoy health, take exercise and be 
temperate, and if you attend to these things properly, 
you will have but little use for either physicians or 
medicines. — Temperance, exercise and rest, are the 
sure guarantees of sound health and vigor, if you have 
naturally a good constitution, and almost the only sure 
means of amending and preserving a weak and defi- 



150 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

cient one. Persons who take proper exercise, and 
combine that exercise with temperance, are seldom 
sick; and those who fly to medicines on every trifling 
cause of complaint, in nine cases in ten, might relieve 
themselves, by abstaining from food for a short time, 
living on light diet, and taking as much exercise as 
will cause perspiration, without impairing their strength 
by excessive fatigue. Exercise, for the purpose of 
producing perspiration, and throwing off the excremcn- 
titious or bad matter from the system, is much better 
than any merely medical means; not only because it 
is the means which nature herself prescribes, but be- 
cause, unlike medical drugs generally, it strengthens 
instead of weakening the system. We are always to 
suppose, from the fact of the horrible fetor or stench, 
which arises from the bodies of those on whom fevers 
have just been broken, that the retention of that bad 
matter in their systems contrary to nature, was the 
real cause of their febrile or feverish disorders; and 
does it not follow, that by getting clear of that matter 
by natural means, before it has time to accumulate and 
produce malignant and obstinate diseases, is much 
better than to force the vital organs into a destructive 
action for producing the same effect? In other words 
. — do you not know, that when you force the stomach 
into laborious action, or indeed any other vital organ 
of the system, that you always weaken and impair its 
energies, and lay the foundation of many diseases to 
which the system under other circumstances would be 
a stranger? A person of common size and in good 
health, will perspire or sweat, from three to four 
pounds' weight in twenty-four hours, if proper exercise 
be taken; and the fact is, that there is more in propor- 
tion of all the fetid matter of the system, discharged 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 151 

from the skin in perspiration or sweat, than there is by 
the stool and the urine combined: and can you not as 
easily see as I can tell you, that unless this bad matter 
is thrown off from the body by exercise and perspira- 
tion, that the fluids of the body will become greatly 
corrupted, and all its vessels oppressed and morbidly 
irritated, and that disease must and will follow? There 
is no witchcraft about the diseases to which we are 
all liable; they are all matters of plain reasoning be- 
tween the causes and effects, to the full understanding 
of which, every man is as competent as any other 
man. Are we not witnesses daily and hourly, of the 
beneficial effects of exercise, in the cure of diseases in 
which both medicines and medical men have failed? 
Half the diseases of delicate women, and in fact near- 
ly all the diseases connected with hysterics and hypo- 
chondria, arise from want of due exercise in the open, 
mild, and pure air. Instead of stewing in a close room, 
and indulging in moody and gloomy anticipations: and 
instead of lying in a huge feather bed until nine or ten 
o'clock in the morning, dosing through morbid dreams 
and vainly courting sleep, the woman of delicate 
nerves and infirm health, and the gloomy hypochon- 
driac, who has probably not sweated for months togeth- 
er, ought to spring from the feathered couch at daylight ; 
view the opening and brilliant landscapes of nature, 
just kindling into life and beauty under the beams of 
the rising sun — and breast the pure mountain breeze! 

I have just told you, that exercise will not only pre- 
serve your health if you have a good constitution, but 
that it will frequently give healthy action and ^ripjgtl) 
to a weak and deficient one. Cicero is descrit|Sj||pi$^ 
Plutarch, as being at one period of his life, thin and c ^ 
weakly: so much so indeed, from flic debility of his 



152 GUJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

stomach, as to be able to eat but once a day, and that 
a very small quantity. In this debilitated and weakly 
condition, he travelled to Athens for the recovery of 
his health, and so great were the effects of his exercise, 
that together with the gymnastic exercises of the place, 
he became firm and robust, and his voice, which had 
before been squeaking and harsh, was changed for 
melodious, deep and sonorous tones. The same wri- 
ter, Plutarch, describes the great Roman warrior, 
Julius Caesar, as being originally of very delicate 
health, pale and soft skin, and of very feeble constitu- 
tion by nature, and subject to fits ; but that by a military 
life, using coarse diet and great exercise, he not only 
became inured to the hardships and exposures of war, 
but healthy, active, vigorous and strong. It is not 
worth while to give any more instances of the powerful 
influence which excercise has on the human system ; if 
you wish to know more about it, look at the brawny 
arms and strong chests of sailors, who are always 
pulling ropes, and contending with the winds and 
storms of the ocean; look at the strong figure of the 
sturdy woodman, who makes the forests bow to the 
sound of the axe ; and indeed all those persons who are 
engaged in active and laborious callings: and then, by 
comparing these people with those who are always 
confined to their houses, to books, and sitting postures, 
and to trade which prevent them from moving about, 
you will be able very easily to see the effects of exer- 
cise much better than I can describe and tell you of 
them. I feel confident in saying, that by exercise on 
horse-back for women, and exercise on foot for men, 
together with some attention to food and drink, this 
dreadful disease called dyspepsia or indigestion, 
which paralizes both body and mind, and makes exis- 



UUKK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 153 

tence itself a burthen, together with the whole train of 
nervous diseases to which we are subject, may be cured 
completely without the aid of medicine, by laying 
down and following systematic rules of exercise, rest, 
and diet. 

All the quack medicines for cleansing the blood, 
which you perceive in the newspapers, are mere im- 
positions on the public. Such medicines have their 
day, and then die off to make room for new catalogues, 
without any benefit except enriching the impostors who 
invent them. The sure remedies for impure blood, 
and consequent eruptions of the skin, are those which 
nature prescribes, and which simply are, exercise, 
temperance, and cleanliness of person; if you will 
mind these things, you need care nothing about cos- 
metics and lotions, and such nonsense, which always 
sooner or later do immense injury. We see daily and 
almost hourly, persons who have been accustomed to 
exercise and labor in their youth, changing their for- 
mer modes of life for those of ease, refinement, wealth, 
and idleness, &c. — and we very soon also, see that 
these persons immediately begin to sink into all the 
diseases which arise from corrupted habits of body, 
merely for want of their accustomed exercise and ac- 
tive habits; diseases to which they would probably not 
have been liable, had they continued in their original 
habits of exercise and useful industry. We see them 
immediately laboring under morbid eruptions of the 
skin, jaundice, nervous irritability, palsy, indigestion, 
consumptions, and heaven above knows what more 
diseases too tedious to name. In all these cases, let 
me urge upon you the vast unspeakable importance of 
exercise, and regular diet, by which last I mean, never 

touching spirituous liquors of anv kind. Follow the 

20 



154 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

French rules in these respects, and you will enjoy all 
that sprightly vigor of mind, and buoyant elasticity of 
health and feelings for which that people are celebrated 
in all parts of the world. The French people, from 
their habitually taking exercise, and nearly always 
being temperate in eating and drinking, are exempted 
in a great degree from those diseases which arise from 
want of exercise, gormandizing on strong food, drink- 
ing spirituous liquors, and sleeping immoderately and 
in close chambers. In these respects, nearly all the 
rest of the world ought to take lessons from them. We 
all know very well, that due exercise and rest, combin- 
ed with light and temperate eating and drinking, 
always produce cheerfulness and serenity ; and how do 
they do so? Why, simply by preventing obstructions 
in the system ; and by removing them whenever they 
present themselves. You seldom find a Frenchman 
gloomy, oppressed in his feelings, despondent — no ; and 
for these good reasons, he seldom omits to be active in 
his movements; to take exercise and proper rest, and 
above all, he seldom eats heavily, and immediately lies 
down to snore away ten or twelve hours, to the exclu- 
sion of exercise beneficial to health. We all know 
very well, that sluggardism or sedentary habits, and 
want of exercise in proportion to our strength produces 
uneasy and bad sleep, costiveness of the bowels, a dry 
and feverish skin, and a thousand other things connect- 
ed with obstructions; and we all know just as well 
that exercise duly taken, will always produce sound 
and easy sleep, that it has a tendency to open the 
bowels and to keep them open and regular, and to 
remove all obstructions of the skin, of the lungs, of the 
liver, &c. &,c. to the end of the chapter: and yet we 
will lie in bed, or sit about in a close warm rocm. 



GUNVS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 155 

breathing an atmosphere sufficient to poison us, and 
gorge our systems with medical drugs, enough to 
destroy the whole tone and energies of the stomach 
and bowels! I say again, instead of the medicines 
always used to remove obstructions, to make sweat 
flow, to make the blood circulate freely, and to excite 
all the healthy sensations and excretions, take exercise 
in the pure air, live temperately on light diet and drink, 
never provoke sleep by any other means than natural 
ones, and sleep no more than is necessary to renovate 
the system. Under such circumstances as these, you 
will have no use for mercurial purges, or any medicines 
save those of a simple and harmless character. Morn- 
ing and evening are the proper hours for taking exer- 
cise: rise early and walk from one to two miles; in 
the evening also devote an hour to exercise in the open 
air. You may also use weights of from five to six 
pounds, which when taken into the hands are to be 
thrown backward and forward so as to produce an 
action in the chest; this exercise is properly adapted 
to persons of weak breasts, and particularly to females. 
I have frequently seen persons so extremely weak in 
the chest, and so what we call short-winded, as to be 
unable to ascend the smallest hill without getting out 
of breath, and who by the use of these weights a short 
time, have become so much improved as to be enabled 
to ascend the highest hills without inconvenience or 
oppression of the chest. The great objects of exercise, 
and it will always have those effects when judiciously 
taken, are to increase and regulate the secretions and 
excretions, by the skin, the kidneys, &c. &c. — to give 
power to the muscles, to impart tone and strength to 
the nerves, and where a person is fat and unwieldly in 
size, to reduce the superfluities of flesh and fat; to 



156 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

\ 

reduce the quantity of blood, and to make it thinner and 
lighter. The other benefits resulting from exercise are, 
good appetite, good and easy digestion, tranquility and 
serenity of mind and feelings, pleasant and refreshing 
sleep, astonishing increase of strength and wind in 
breathing, Slc. — I have seen a boy on the Mediterra- 
nean, his carriage being filled with passengers, run by 
the side of his horses at considerable speed for ten and 
fifteen'miles together, without being fatigued at the end 
of the journey, or being the least oppressed for want of 
breath. These boys subsisted on a few bunches of 
grapes, and a small flask of wine, daily, both of which 
they carry suspended from their necks. The cheerful 
dispositions of these poor boys, and their great breath 
and strength convinced me fully of the great benefits 
arising from diet and exercise. The advantages of the 
training system, are not confined to pedestrians or 
walkers — or to pugilists or boxers alone; or to horses 
which are trained for the chase and the race track- 
they extend to man in all conditions; and were train- 
ing introduced into the United States, and made use of 
by physicians in many cases instead of medical drugs 
the beneficial consequences in the cure of many disea- 
ses would be very great indeed. 



WARM OR TEPID BATH. 

It is impossible to find language to express in ade- 
quate terms the importance of this powerful preserver 
and restorative of health — this great and almost inde- 
scribable luxury, the bath. 

Considering its importance to the preservation of 
health, and the cure of very many of our most afflict- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 157 

ing diseases, I am truly astonished that the warm or 
tepid bath should be so little used in the western 
country. 

Warm baths are such as have a temperature be- 
tween the 76th and 98th degrees of the thermometer ; 
but, persons having no thermometer, indeed there is no 
need of one for regulating the temperature of the 
water, have only to consult their own sensations in 
entering the bathing tub; because their own tempera- 
ment in contact with the water, will immediately advise 
them of the temperature required: the only inconveni- 
ence that can ever be experienced in using the warm 
bath, will be in being compelled to leave its comforts. 
The usual time of bathing is from twenty minutes to 
half an hour; but with regard to the time, it is not 
material: the feelings and sensations of the bather will 
better determine this point than I can tell him. The 
warm bath, contrary to the general opinion, does not 
heat the body; it has on the contrary an opposite effect, 
inasmuch as it obviously abates the quickness of the 
pulse, and reduces the pulsations in proportion to the 
time we remain in the warm water. 

When persons have travelled a long journey, and 
feel much fatigued, or overheated by exposure to the 
sun, or their minds are much disturbed, the bath will 
be found an excellent remedy for invigorating the 
whole system, and at the same time reducing the 
irregular and quick action of the blood. Indeed I feel 
confident, that in thousands of instances, if the bath 
were used in the first symptoms of those irregular and 
feverish feelings which prey upon the mind and body, 
very many persons would escape sick beds. During 
my practice in Virginia, I escaped the fever prevalent 
in Botetourt county, called the lick fever, in several 



158 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

instances after having felt distinctly all the symptoms 
of that disease, by the speedy use of the warm bath and 
gentle purgatives of epsom salts. Had I not used the 
bath, I feel confident I could not have escaped this 
dreadful and malignant disease, being exposed during 
its prevalence, in attendance on a great many patients. 
The warm bath is of very great utility, to persons 
troubled with eruptions or breakings out of the skin, 
such as itch, and indeed venereal sores. In hypochon- 
driacal, hysteric, and in insane cases — and in fact on 
persons laboring under madness, the beneficial effects 
of warm baths are always visible: in scorbutic and old 
ulcers or sores, when attention has been paid to regi- 
men, the utilities of the bath are equally great. In 
palsy and all nervous diseases, I recommend warm 
bathing as one of the most effectual remedies. — Doctor 
Charleton, of Bath, in England, states, that out of nine 
hundred and ninety-six paralytics, most of whom had 
resisted the powers of medicine, eight hundred and 
thirteen were benefitted by the application of the warm 
bath at the hospital of that city. In a great variety of 
chronic or inveterate complaints, such as bilious disea- 
ses, derangements of the liver, and of the stomach and 
digestive functions, it is impossible to describe to you its 
useful effects; and I solicit you with every sincerity of 
heart, to use the warm bath individually and in your 
families, as one of the efficient preventives and cures of 
disease which is in every man's reach. In using the 
bath with some system and regularity, you will ward off 
many hours' confinement by ill health, save the expense 
of many a Doctor's bill, and prevent you from having 
a ruined constitution, and a stomach worn out by 
swallowing medicines: for I do assert, without fear of 
contradiction, but by the ninnyhammcrs of the pror 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 159 

fession, that if the warm bath were more frequently 
used, with proper abstinence from food, on the approach 
of fever, and many other diseases which I shall enu- 
merate under their proper heads, in five cases in ten, 
medical assistance would not be required. In all 
cases of debility from spasms — in pain — in cholic — in 
cramp — and in anxiety and restlessness, the bath will 
relieve and tranquilize the system. In hectic or con- 
sumptive fever, I have found it of great benefit from 
the fact of its lessening the heat: and most particularly 
beneficial, when the liver was connected with this 
dreadful disease. In dyspepsia or indigestion, this 
terrible disease which makes life itself a burthen, the 
bath is a valuable assistant and comforter in the cure. 
All young persons who manifest a disposition to stop 
at a premature point of growth, in other words to 
remain pigmies for life, should use the bath ; because it 
always promotes the growth of the body, increases the 
proportions of the limbs, and adds much to the muscu- 
lar powers. On the subject of barrenness I have 
reflected much, and as it seems to be the anxious wish 
of many of the wealthy to have offspring, the remark 
or seasonable hint, that the bath is admirably adapted 
to the want of increase of family, may be quite suffi- 
cient without descending to particulars. 

The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Germans, as well 
as the Persians, Turks, and modern Egyptians, enjoy 
the comforts and benefits procured by bathing, in a 
degree of which we can scarcely form an idea. The 
French owe much of their cheerfulness and vivacity of 
disposition to the warm bath; and you could not inflict 
on Frenchmen, or French females, a greater punish- 
ment than to deprive either of the warm bath which 
they always prize as a component part of their existence. 



160 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

The soft, delicate, and beautiful skins, for which the 
French females are so much celebrated, are very much 
owing to the tepid bathing, being far preferable to all 
the cosmetics and other preparations sold for the pur- 
pose of whitening and beautifying the skin. The habits 
of persons are very different as to perspiration or 
sweating: some perspire very much, and others very 
little: from some no offensive effluvia arises in perspi- 
ring, whilst from bodies of others there arises a perfect 
fetor— and I must here say, that of all possible putrid 
smells, that arising from the perspiration of the human 
body is the most dreadful ; and to such persons as have 
a fetid perspiration, I do most certainly know, that the 
frequent use of the warm bath would be of immense 
service. It would not only prevent strangers becoming 
disgusted with their society, but be a great auxiliary in 
promoting their health, and removing that most un- 
pleasant smell which salutes the nasal organs with a 
perfectly sepulchral stench ! This uncleanness, or want 
of cleanliness, exhibits itself as frequently in the draw- 
ing rooms and festooned halls of the great and wealthy, 
as in the humble cottages of the obscure and needy; 
and sometimes produces disgusts which neither time 
nor circumstances can remove. Let me then, again, 
and with every desire for your happiness, and every 
delicacy of sentiment I am master of, urge upon you 
the simple fact, that cleanliness is the very best of per- 
fumes — and that all those which are imported from the 
east, are inferior to the pleasant and native smell of the 
skin, when perfumed by the use of soap and water. I 
ought here perhaps to close my remarks, but I feel it a 
solemn duty I owe to my fellow beings to be candid, 
and as I have pledged myself to do, to inform them 
plainly of whatever I know to their advantage. I have 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 161 

absolutely known many matches in wedlock, complete- 
ly destroyed by the discovery of a want of cleanliness 
—and many married persons rendered miserable and 
highly obnoxious to each other, by this lazy, indolent 
and I will add this dirty trait of character: for it is 
well known to all keen observers of mankind, that 
moral purity and cleanliness of person, are nearly 
always found combined. 

Every family, rich and poor, ought to have a bathing 
machine, improperly called a tub. It is easy of con- 
struction, and very simple, being in shape like a child's 
cradle without rockers, about six feet in length, and of 
width sufficient easily to admit the body, with a hole 
in the bottom near the foot, to let the water pass off 
after being used ; it may be constructed of wood or tin, 
and if of the latter, ought to be painted to prevent rust. 
Where it is made of wood plank, the seams or cracks 
ought to be filled with boiling tar or pitch to prevent 
leakage. Rocks properly cleansed previously to being 
heated in the fire, afford very easy means of heating 
the water to any temperature, and will always enable 
the bather to take the bath with very little trouble. 

Most wealthy persons imagine, when they have 
furnished their mansions with splendid mirrors, Tur- 
key carpets, sophas, and various other decorations, 
which soon tire after the novelty of seeing them ceases, 
that all things are complete; but, I say, that unless they 
have a small room appropriated to bathing, in which 
the necessary apparatus can be found fitted up for use 
their houses want one of the most necessary appenda- 
ges of comfort and health: and that they ought to be 
charged with the responsibility, of many diseases which 
afflict their families, for want of this fountain of health. 
The construction of public baths, has from the remotest 

21 



162 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ages been cnosidered an object of national attention ; 
and most sincerely and ardently do I desire, that Nash- 
ville, a city of public spirit, and cordial support of 
every thing useful; a city whose kind hospitality en- 
dears it to the warm recollections of every stranger 
who visits that metropolis, may shortly construct a 
public Bath, whose beautiful structure will be admired 
as a public ornament, and its utility fully established as 
the harbinger of health to its citizens, which may oper- 
ate as an example in the introduction of this luxury 
into the western country. 

The warm or tepid bath, should be used about twice 
or three times a week in summer; in winter once a 
week is sufficient. It ought to be used in the morning, 
at noon, or when going to bed. 

Having now given a concise account, of some of the 
benefits of this bath, I shall next show by a brief state- 
ment of facts, the method of bathing practised by the 
hardy Russians. They have sweating or vapor baths 
which are resorted to by persons of all classes, rich 
and poor, free of expense, because these baths are 
supported and kept up by the government. Here min- 
gle together the beggar, the artisan, the peasant, and 
the nobleman, to enjoy the luxuries of the steam or 
sweating bath, in both sickness and health. The 
method pursued to produce the vapor bath, is simply 
by throwing water on red hot stones in a close room, 
which raises the heat from 150 to 168 degrees, making 
when at 168 — above a heat capable of melting wax, 
and only 12 degrees below that for boiling spirit of 
wine. In this tremendous and excessive heat, which 
on an American would produce suffocation, the Rus- 
sian enjoys what to him is a comfortable luxury of the 
vapor bath, which shows clearly as I have before 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 163 

observed, the wonderful force of habit among mankind. 
In these bath houses are constructed benches, on which 
they lie naked, and continue in a profuse sweat for the 
lapse of one and sometimes two hours, occasionally 
washing or pouring over their bodies warm or cold 
water. During the sweating stage, the body is well 
rubbed or gently whipped with leafy branches of the 
birch tree, to promote perspiration by opening the pores 
of the skin. A Russian thinks nothing of rushing from 
the bath room dissolved in sweat, and jumping into the 
cold and chilling waters of an adjacent river: or du- 
ring the most piercing cold to which his country is liable 
in winter, to roll himself in the snow; and this without 
the slightest injury. On the contrary he derives many 
advantages from these sudden changes and abrupt 
exposures; because he always by them hardens his 
constitution to all the severities of a climate, whose 
colds and snows seem to paralize the very face of na- 
ture. Rheumatisms are seldom known in Russia; 
which is certainly owing to the habit of thus taking 
the vapor bath. The great and sudden transition from 
heat to cold, seems to us very dangerous and unnatural ; 
but I have no doubt the Russians owe their longevity, 
their healthy and robust constitutions, their exemption 
from certain mortal diseases, and their cheerful and 
vivacious tempers, to these baths and their generally 
temperate mode of living. A learned writer has justly 
remarked, and not without cause, that it is much to be 
lamented, "this practice of bathing should have fallen 
into such disuse among the modern nations of Europe; 
and that he most sincerely wishes it might again be 
revived in our towns and villages." When we look 
back and see the benefits that the old physicians deri- 
ved from this remedy of nature's own invention, — and 



164 GUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the many cures formerly effected by the use of the 
bath, and that Rome for five hundred years together 
had few physicians but baths, we cannot avoid being 
astonished that they should ever have fallen into disuse, 
from the prejudices and negligence of mankind. 



COLD BATH. 

The cold bath is one of the most important medicin- 
al remedies presented from the friendly bosom of nature. 
The cold bath means cleansing or washing the body 
with cold water, of a temperature varying from tho 
33d to the 56th degree of Fahrenheit's thermometer, 
or the usual warmth of our river water during the 
summer months: but the entrance of spring-branches 
into the river should be avoided by persons bathing, 
because it produces a sudden change of temperature, 
from an agreeable warmth to a cold and chilling sen- 
sation. 

Bathing in cold water during the warm season, is a 
preventive against disease, particularly fevers, by lessen- 
ing the heat of the body; it cleanses the skin from its 
impure and acrid contents, thereby removing a prima- 
ry source of disease: the bath braces the solids which 
were before relaxed by heat, restoring and tranquilizing 
the irritability of the nervous system, and greatly 
exhilirating and cheering the spirits with an increase of 
strength and bodily power. If the bath has been ser- 
viceable, you will quickly feel after leaving the water 
and rubbing well with a coarse towel, the most pleasant 
glow or increase of heat, with a delightful serenity and 
cheerfulness; but if the bath has been injurious, you 
will feel the contrary effect to that which I have 



OlNN,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 165 

described : and you must of course discontinue its use, 
and apply the tepid or warm bath in its stead: the 
effects produced by the cold bath when they prove 
injurious to the bather, are directly the contrary to 
those which I have before described — such as heavi- 
ness and depression of spirits — respiration or breathing 
becomes impeded — livid or dark appearance of the 
skin — nails purple ; the lips change their florid appear- 
ance to a pale or purple color — and the countenance 
assumes a cadaverous or ghastly color, accompanied 
with headache. In such a case, the bather should 
immediately take plentifully of warm toddy, made of 
spirits of any kind, or if a cramp in the stomach, which 
sometimes takes place from the cold bath, thirty or 
forty drops of laudanum for a grown person, with 
warm toddy, — together with the application of warm 
salt to the stomach, will give immediate relief. Mode- 
rate exercise should always be taken after bathing so as 
to restore the equilibrium of the circulation, and pro- 
duce a reaction in the vessels and muscles. The 
morning is the best time for bathing, or two hours be- 
fore sunset, if in a river, as the water has then from the 
rays of a summer sun, acquired an agreeable warmth. 
When the sun has disappeared, or evening begins to 
throw her mists over the waters, it is imprudent to 
bathe, owing to the dampness of the atmosphere, which 
is apt to produce a chill followed by fever. 

The rules for bathing, are to enter the bath on an 
empty stomach; or in other words, some time after 
eating: wet the head first, and if the bathing-place is 
free from impediments, dive in head foremost, so as to 
make the impression uniform; for you will feel the 
shock less by boldly entering it, than by reflecting and 
pcting slowly and timidly, by which you might produce 



166 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

dangerous consequences by propelling the blood from 
the extremities to the head, inducing apoplexy. 

The time of remaining in the bath should always 
be short, and must be determined by the constitution, 
and the feelings of the persons themselves, as healthy 
persons may continue in the bath longer than those who 
are weakly and in bad health. It is improper and un- 
safe to remain in the cold water longer than a quarter 
of an hour at most, during the hottest day in summer, 
as the principal object in cold bathing is the influence 
and effect produced by the first impression made on the 
system: — and should the cold bath be advisable in 
spring or autumn, which is sometimes the case, one or 
two minutes at most will be sufficient ; when the bath is 
necessary at these seasons, it will be advisable to use 
the shower bath as hereafter described. 

On the use of the cold bath, considerable judgment 
is required, as many serious and lingering complaints 
have been produced by the injudicious use of this 
remedy, and many diseases brought to a fatal termina- 
tion by its improper application, I shall therefore 
describe as plainly as possible the different effects pro- 
duced in the different constitutions, and the diseases for 
which it is beneficial. 

On aged and thin persons, it acts more powerfully 
than on corpulent and fat persons ; therefore a fat and 
young person can remain double the time in the bath to 
one that is old or of delicate constitution. The remark 
which I have before made should be attended to by 
persons of stout or corpulent habits, particularly those 
of short necks should always wet the head and enter 
the bath courageously, so as to prevent the determina- 
tion of blood to the head : persons of sanguine temper- 
ament should be particular as to these instructions. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 167 

Persons whoso lungs are affected, or those laboring 
under breast complaints, should by all means avoid cold 
bathing; — because by using it they always advance the 
disease, and cut short the thread of life. In oppressions 
of the breast, or difficulty of breathing, short or dry 
coughs, &,c. the bathing in cold water is highly detri- 
mental and improper — obstructions also in women, or 
stoppage of the menses or courses — also persons of a 
scorbutic habit, or those afflicted with old sores or ulcers, 
or vitiated state of the system, gout or rheumatism, preg- 
nant women; in hemorrhages or discharges of blood 
from the lungs, in all kinds of inflammation internal and 
external, the cold bath is dangerous, and frequently con- 
firms disease which ultimately results in dissolution or 
death. Its benefits are always found in a debilitated 
state of the system, when unconnected with the diseases 
I have mentioned; particularly those whose systems 
have been relaxed by sedentary habits, requiring tonic 
or strengthening remedies. I have frequently in one 
or two dangerous cases used the cold bath with females 
in an advanced stage of life, when nature was about to 
leave them, or in other words, when a heavy flooding 
from the womb was about to take place. 

The application of cold water, and frequently ice, 
has been resorted to in profuse discharges of blood from 
the womb, with considerable advantage, cold water 
being a powerful astringent. When infirm or aged per- 
sons take the cold bath, they ought to take moderate 
exercise before using it, so as to increase or produce 
the action of the vascular system, for by this moderate 
heat, you produce reaction under the shock, which 
might not otherwise take place. Understand me, I 
mean gentle exercise, not such as to produce sweating, 
although it is perfectly safe to enter the cold bath after 



168 CfUNN'S DOMESTIC 3IEDICINE. 

a moderate walk or ride. It would be highly danger- 
ous to go in the water when sweating, or laboring under 
fatigue ; because your body, from fatigue, is losing heat 
rapidly by sweat; but it would by this lose suddenly 
what remains of heat; and therefore you counteract 
the benefits which would otherwise result from a judi- 
cious use of this valuable remedy if properly applied ; 
therefore neither previous entire rest, nor exercise to 
overheat, can possibly be proper. But go between these 
points moderately and you will receive all the advan- 
tages the cold bath of this description is capable of 
bestowing on the human species. 

The cold bath is sometimes used as a shower bath 
with great success; it means the falling of the water 
from a height of seven or eight feet, in a shower similar 
to rain. The construction of this bath is very simple. 
Fix a box that will hold water, or a large tub will 
answer; bore the bottom full of holes made with a large 
gimblet — let the box or tub be placed above your head* 
the distance above mentioned, and let the water be 
thrown in, you being stripped of your clothing — or from 
delicacy to exposure of your person, have a box made 
with a trap-door underneath, so that by pulling the string 
the trap-door will fall by a hinge, and permit the water 
to fall on your body. In the northern cities, the shower 
bath is constructed in this way, so that the water is 
always ready in the box, while you are preparing by 
stripping yourself, when by pulling the string when you 
are ready, you will receive the bath on your body. The 
shower bath produces the best effects when used early 
in the morning, after which you should take a mode- 
rate walk, or exercise on horseback. By making the 
water salt, that is with common salt, well mixed, it will 
be doubly beneficial, answering the fine effects produced 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 169 

by sea bathing. In such a case, the salt should be 
boiled the night before with water, to give it the strength 
and qualities of sea water. After leaving the bath, rub 
well with a coarse towel. The advantages of this 
method arc greatly superior to the other methods of 
bathing, where the effects required to be produced are 
powerful ; for although the bathing in a river covers 
the surface of the body more uniformly, yet this cir- 
cumstance by no means detracts from the excellence of 
the former, because those intermediate parts which the 
water has not touched, receive an electric and sympa* 
thetic impression, m a degree similar to those brought 
into actual contact, and as every drop of water from 
the shower bath operates as a partial cold bath, its 
vivifying shock to robust individuals is more extensive, 
and better adapted than any other method of bathing. 
I will now describe why this bath is better than the 
common method of bathing, together with its safety and 
advantages. In the first place, the sudden falling of 
the water may be used as often as you like — prolonged 
or shortened at pleasure according to your feelings, 
your constitution, your disease, or your gratification. 
Second: — your head and breast are much secured, and 
as it descends to your hands and feet, the circulation is 
not impeded, breathing is less difficult, and a determina- 
tion of blood to the head and breast is prevented. 
Third: — when the water falls in this way by single 
drops, gliding in succession over the body, it produces 
the most thrilling and delightful sensations, stimulating 
the whole system. Its being always easily obtained and 
near at hand, gives it additional advantages. Lastly: 
— the degree of pressure from the weight of water is 
prevented, nor is the bath dangerous — the fluids and 
circulation never being interrupted by it. Besides — it 



170 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

is free from injuries to which bathing in rivers and 
creeks exposes us. In closing my directions and ad- 
vantages from the shower bath, I recommend the salt 
bath particularly, as one of the finest remedies in fits, 
in deafness, and for rickety children, or those afflicted 
with a disease called St. Vitus' dance, a nervous affec- 
tion. The great benefits resulting from the judicious 
use of the shower bath, have been fully felt and ac- 
knowledged in" the city of New York, by the first and 
ablest physicians of that city of improvements and great 
discoveries in medical science. 



FOOD. 

Food means any thing, which, when taken into the 
stomach, goes to the support and nourishment of the 
human body; and we all know perfectly well, that all 
other animals, as well as man, require food to give 
them support, health, and strength. All animals below 
man, seem to be confined to particular kinds of food to 
support them ; and this appears to be the reason, why 
naturally wild animals are confined to particular 
climates, unless under the care of man: and the simple 
truth, that man makes use of so many different kinds 
of food, shows that his Maker intended him to live 
everywhere, and to have dominion over all the beasts 
of the field, the fowls of the air, &c. as the scripture 
expressly says. But I will endeavor to explain this 
matter a little further, so as to be more easily under- 
stood. Fish cannot live out of the water, birds cannot 
live out of the air; nor can any mere land animal, 
such as the elephant, the lion, the horse or the cow, live 
in either the air or the water: and further still, on this 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 1*71 

same subject, we see very plainly, that a sheep cannot 
eat meat, a wolf or a lion cannot eat grass, &c. In 
fact you may look at all the animals in nature, and you 
will sec as I said before, that all below man, are con- 
fined to the particular countries and places where they 
can find food and shelter from their enemies ; and that 
to man alone is given the whole surface of the globe, 
because he can live everywhere on it, and easily find 
subsistence or food to support him. He can eat fish 
from the waters, he can eat birds from the air, he can 
eat the animals of the land — the herbs, and vegetables, 
and roots, and grains, of the fields and woods, &c. &c. 
I shall now endeavor to explain as plainly as possi- 
ble, because every person is interested in knowing it, 
what physicians call the "process of digestion ," which 
means in other words, the changes which our food 
goes through when taken into the stomach. First, the 
food being masticated or chewed, and mixed in the 
mouth with the spittle called the saliva and air, is next 
received into the stomach, where it is exposed to the 
action of a kind of liquid called by physicians gastric 
fluid, which is a powerful solvent of animal and vege- 
table matters. After remaining in the stomach a short 
time, it becomes a soft gluey mass, having undergone a 
change or decomposition in the stomach, which may 
be termed fermentation. From the stomach it passes 
into the intestines, where it is subjected to the power or 
action of the bile: here it undergoes still further chan- 
g66, by forming a white milky fluid, called by medical 
men chyle. This milky fluid is sucked up by a numer- 
ous quantity of little vessels called medically absorbent 
lacteals. These little vessels arc in the intestinal canal, 
and all the food as it passes is subject to the influence 
of the mouths of those little vessels, which suck up 



172 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

this milky fluid called chyle. These little vessels have 
many communications ; so many that it is impossible 
to trace them — being formed with such delicacy of 
structure, and so very small: — after many communica- 
tions with each other, they at last end in one common 
trunk, from which the chyle is conveyed into the blood 
near the heart. It is here mixed with the blood, and 
becomes subject to the power of the heart and arteries, 
or in other words, large blood vessels. It is then cir- 
culated through the lungs: here many changes take 
place by breathing the air or common atmosphere. 
After this it joins with the great circulating mass, and 
becomes itself blood, this being the great fountain from 
which the body is formed and strengthened. 

Food, then, we see very plainly, is intended to sup- 
port nature, promote the growth, and to give strength, 
and to renew the waste of the system. The structure 
of man's body, his inclinations, his instincts, and the 
gastric fluid, intended to digest both animal and vege- 
table food, show that the Creator has intended man to 
receive his food from the animal and vegetable king- 
doms. But of vegetable and animal food, animal is the 
most nourishing. It is putrescent and stimulating, and 
highly injurious to live on any length of time, without a 
due proportion of vegetables; for it overheats and stim- 
ulates so much, as at length to exhaust and weaken the 
whole system, which in the first instance, it gave vigor 
and support to. Persons who have lived for any length 
of time on meats, become oppressed, heavy and lazy ; 
the tone of their systems is impaired, the breathing is 
hurried on the least exertion, the digestion is destroyed, 
the breath smells bad, the gums swell, the limbs lose 
their action and become swelled, and soon break out in 
sores, (this disease is called scurvy,) and sailors are 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 173 

much subject to it on long voyages when deprived of 
vegetables. 

A German received a premium of twenty thousand 
pounds sterling for introducing sour krout or pickled 
cabbage into the British navy. This vegetable is an 
antedote or preventive against this dreadful disease 
called scurvy, which for a length of time destroyed 
thousands of seamen on long voyages, who were com- 
pelled to subsist on salt provisions. All acids are con- 
sidered good in scurvy. A diet of vegetables entirely 
is not sufficient to raise the human system to all the 
strength and vigor to which it is susceptible: And 
when used alone without any meat produces flatulence 
and acidity of the stomach, muscular and nervous 
debility, and a long train of hysterical and hypochon- 
driacal disorders. This shows the importance of a 
proportion of each being intended for man. We find 
some Eastern nations, who live entirely on vegetables, 
seldom robust but very active. This accounts in part 
for the cheerful disposition of the French, whose vege- 
table and animal food are generally mixed, and boiled 
to the softest consistency. A mixed diet of vegetable 
and animal food is therefore best suited to the nature of 
man. The proportion of these, must be regulated 
according to the manner in which they agree. Persons 
who are fat, plethoric, or sanguine, should use but little 
animal food: those, on the other hand, who are weak 
and nervous may use more animal food. In all inflam- 
matory and acute diseases, where inflammatory action 
exists, meat is hurtful. Meats which I shall hereafter 
describe arc beneficial, more so than vegetables, for 
persons who are subject to indigestion; particularly 
wild meats such as venison, or any wild game such as 
birds whose llesh is white ; the partridge, quail, pheasant, 



J^Bk 



174 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

wild turkey, &c.: the flesh of these is of a most 
agreeable and delicate flavor, little heating, and when 
young, very nourishing and easily digested. In fact, all 
wild animals are more easily digested than tame ones 
with the exception of water fowl, and such as live on 
fish, &c. whose flesh is oily, strong flavored, but heavy 
and difficult to digest, &c. By the abuses of cookery, 
by which I mean the uses of high seasoning and sau- 
ces, the simplest food may be rendered heavy and 
indigestible. The frog is not used in this country, but 
looked upon with disgust, and to name it as an article 
of food would almost turn the stomachs of many. In 
France, on the contrary, it is considered as one of the 
greatest delicacies, and frequently sells at a guinea a 
dish. The hinder legs alone are made use of in France, 
and other countries where it is made an article of food. 
The flesh has a white and delicate appearance, and 
there are men in France who obtain a livelihood by 
catching them. I have frequently seen them engaged 
in this employment, which is very simple: they bait a 
hook with a piece of red flannel or silk, at which the 
frogs will bite like fish, and are thus as easily caught. 
I have merely mentioned this, not by way of recom- 
mending them as a diet, but to show the variety of 
tastes and habits of different countries. — The flesh of 
the soft-shell turtle, which is caught in our own waters, 
is tender and nourishing, and more to be considered as 
one of the delicacies of Tennessee, than any thing else 
we have; and if properly dressed, affords a most 
excellent dish, and one very easy of digestion. The 
flesh of all young animals is the best and most easily 
digested: mutton or lamb, next to the flesh of the kid, 
is superior to any known. Veal is delicate, and better 
than beef as to digestion; but neither can be good fov 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 175 

persons of weak digestion. I have mentioned venison 
as being very easy on the stomach ; indeed it is so very 
easy of digestion, that I think dyspepsia itself might 
be cured by it, when accompanied by the exercise of 
hunting the animal which affords it. Pork is a food 
which is too much used in Tennessee, by persons of 
delicate and feeble constitutions. There is more pork 
meat used in East Tennessee than in any part of the 
United States of the same population; and it is to this 
voracious habit of gormandizing pork at every meal, 
we are to attribute the many serious forms of conges- 
tive fever which prevail here, to say nothing about 
scrofula, palsy, appoplexy, indigestion, and so on. 
Pork is a food highly nutricious, but from the fat with 
which it abounds, by no means easily digested. It is 
in fact the strongest of all animal food, producing to 
weak and delicate stomachs, acidity and unpleasant 
belching or eructations; and therefore should be cau- 
tiously used by persons laboring under dyspeptic symp- 
toms or indigestion ; and those whose bowels are weak. 
Pork can be alone adapted to men who labor hard, 
because it requires activity and great exercise to digest 
it. Bacon is a coarse heavy food, and also difficult of 
digestion: and like pork, only fitting food for persons 
who have to labor hard. Ham is also a heavy and 
strong food, and should be carefully avoided by all per- 
sons of weak stomachs, even when it is cured in the 
very best manner. The young pig is more wholesome, 
and affords a much more delicate and light food than 
the old animal. The rabbit and squirrel afford an 
excellent dish, easily digested, and admirably suited to 
the stomachs of those who are delicate and yet require 
animal food. But the fact is, all persons who have an 
impure state of the blood, those who have sores, or 



176 GUNN'S DOMESTIC 3IEDICINE. 

wounds, or breakings out on the skin, should by all 
means refrain from the use of all animal food, and 
particularly from pork. Fish, as a diet, is difficult of 
digestion; it is of all animal substances, the most 
putrescible, and ought not to be allowed to weak 
patients, or persons recovering from acute diseases — 
and the reason why dyspeptic persons should avoid it 
is, that the fat of fish is harder to digest than the fat of 
any other animal, and quickly becomes rancid. It 
frequently disagrees with many constitutions — produ- 
cing flatulence or wind — sickness and weight at the 
stomach — and sometimes vomiting: and I have fre- 
quently known it to produce a general disorder of the 
whole system, accompanied with short but regular 
paroxysms of fever, and sometimes a breaking out on 
the body resembling the nettle rash. — It is a very com- 
mon saying, in allusion to the use of spirits, after eating 
plentifully of fish, that it requires something to swim 
in; this shows that it is a dangerous diet to more than 
sickly, delicate, and dyspeptic persons. Fish which 
abound in oil, called the red-blooded fish, are more 
stimulant and nutritive than any others; but much 
heavier and more apt to disagree with the stomachs of 
weakly persons than any other: — the fact is, that dys- 
peptic persons ought to avoid fish altogether, and under 
any possible forms of cookery. Diet depends very 
much upon the manner in which it is cooked. The 
most simple food may be converted into a poison, by 
the pampering and studied artifices of epicures and 
cooks. This is the reason why the French cookery is 
superior to that of the English, or even to our own. 
The French use all the innocent herbs and plants of 
the garden, while the English and Americans, season 
their food with highly stimulating spices, calculated to 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 177 

destroy the coats of the stomach. During my resi- 
dence in France, I recollect but two cases of dyspepsia 
or indigestion. This is certainly owing to the manner 
in which the French live. The qualities and quanti- 
ties of our food, with the manner of cooking it, should 
be strictly attended to; and by so doing we would 
escape some of the most dreadful diseases incidental 
to human life. The more simply we cook and dress 
our food, the less of it the stomach requires to be satis- 
fied ; for by stimulating the stomach with seasonings, 
we produce an artificial appetite, and rouse it to the 
requisition of more food than the system requires ; and 
by overloading and oppressing its powers, weaken and 
finally destroy them. To enjoy good health, we ought 
always to leave the table with some appetite; nor 
ought we ever to partake of any dish, however palata- 
ble, which we know from experience to disagree with 
us. The more plain the food we use, the more easily 
will it be digested, and the less we will desire. The 
various dishes given at parties, consisting of pies, pud- 
dings, tarts, ice creams, floating islands, sometimes 
called, and very properly, trifles, &c. &,c, are just so 
many poisons calculated to destroy the stomach, and 
intail upon the dyspeptic a life of misery and disease. 
In the western country I have witnessed, especially 
among females, that the disease called dyspepsia or 
indigestion prevails very much. I would therefore 
particularly urge upon them, as they value their health 
and lives, to avoid all this farrago of fashionable des- 
serts; for by so doing, and living temperately and 
abstemiously, they will establish firm constitutions, 
which will be entailed on their offspring, extend to 
themselves the inestimable blessing of health, and 

enable them to reach the winter of a good old age. 

93 



178 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

FEVER; AND GENERAL REMARKS. 

It is almost impossible to describe fever correctly; 
because it shows itself in so many various ways and 
forms. To judge of its presence, we are to notice par- 
ticularly the following appearances and indications: — 
the state of the pulse — the skin — the color of the face 
—the change of feature — the eyes — the tongue — the 
breathing — the appetite — the state of the stomach and 
bowels. There is generally great thirst, and pain in 
the head — soreness all over the body, as if beat with 
a stick, or as if a person were fatigued after a hard 
day's work — a desire to sleep constantly — and some- 
times a great increase of strength accompanying fever. 
By these symptoms you are to judge of this disease. 

The most distinguished medical men have differed 
in opinion as to the cause of fever: and to this day, I 
must honestly confess, that physicians are much in the 
dark as to this subject. Doctor Brown, a distinguished 
physician of Europe, thought it arose from a want of 
stimulant in the blood vessels — or an excess of it. 
Doctor Rush, our distinguished countryman, thought 
there was in fever but one disease ; morbid or convul- 
sive action in the blood vessels. Doctor Chapman, 
professor in the University of Philadelphia, thinks that 
most diseases originate from the stomach. My experi- 
ence in practice convinces me that this eminent practi- 
tioner of medicine is correct. The first impression is 
made on the stomach by medicine, which acts instantly 
by sympathy. It is the general reservoir which receives 
those medical remedies by which the disease is to be 
subdued ; consequently there is great sympathy between 
the stomach and the whole system — and many cases, 
supposed to be liver diseases, on a minute examination, 
you will find to originate in the stomach. It is impos- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 179, 

sible to describe the close connexion between the liver 
and the stomach. On this subject particularly, pay 
attention to the stomach first, and you will discover the 
primary cause of the disease: I will therefore describe 
plainly and faithfully, the symptoms of such fevers as 
are common amongst us, so that with a little care and 
common judgment, the reader will be enabled to dis- 
cover by the symptoms, the causes of such fevers as 
prevail amongst us: nor do I consider that these fine 
and hair-drawn opinions of fever, given by physicians 
generally, are of any benefit to mankind, but on the 
contrary serve to bewilder and lead astray. The great 
secret of medicine is to discover the first cause of 
disease, and in the next place to apply the remedies 
properly; and to do these things as they ought to be 
done, let your judgment be exercised with clearness, 
caution, and firmness; and to give you firmness, be 
conscious that you are endeavoring to act for the best 
— as there is not so much difficulty in medicine as 
many imagine ; if you will but attend to the causes of 
the diseases, and watch the effects of the remedies. 
The fact is, that a man of good common sense and 
judgment, who will take his station at the bed-side of 
the patient — be minute in his enquiries as to the habits 
of that patient — know when and how he was taken 
sick — ascertain all the apparently small particulars as 
to the pains first complained of; and without what is 
called a learned college education, you will, in nine 
cases out of ten succeed, when mere theorists who 
prescribe for the names of diseases, without under- 
standing them, will absolutely fail. On conversing with 
a sick person, ask the following questions, if the situa- 
tion of the patient enables him or her to answer; and 
after awaiting the subsiding of any strong excitement 



i80 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

your presence may create. How were you taken? 
When were you taken? Where did you feel the first 
pains? What were your feelings for several days r 
previously to being taken ? Is your mind disturbed in 
any way? What are your general habits? Are you 
temperate in eating and drinking? What have you 
eaten forlkeveral days before being taken sick? How 
and when have you been exposed? Do you recollect 
how you felt when you were taken sick? What has 
been your general health? Or if the patient be a 
female; have you been regular in your monthly peri- 
ods? Is there any suppression of urine? This is a 
delicate matter with females; because from delicacy 
of feeling they frequently conceal it. How is the state 
of your bowels? These are important matters, and 
require candid statements from the sick. By thus 
minutely enquiring into the state of the system, you 
strike at the root of the disease, and get on the right 
track; for thousands have been killed by physicians, 
for want of this accurate knowledge, or mistaking the 
disease. There are many other circumstances which 
should be known; and which your good judgment will 
not fail to point out to you: and I need not add, that 
the necessary information should be obtained from 
some experienced person of the family, if the patient 
should be in a delirium, or too young, or too sensitive- 
ly delicate to give it From what I have before ob- 
served, that fever shows itself in so many various forms y 
you will see at once the necessity of knowing the true 
causes, if possible, which assisted in producing the 
disease. Let me, therefore, implore you not to be 
alarmed in administering medicine in fevers, or in fact 
any other diseases where good and sound judgment is 
required, you need not fear, if you will but pay good 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 181 

attention, and have confidence in yourself: I allude to 
such diseases as are common amongst us, because 
there are cases which require a very excellent physi- 
cian; and under sucii circumstances, the heads of 
families need not be told the absolute necessity of hav- 
ing such a one. To give an evidence of the insuffi- 
ciency of mere theories, with which boys come from 
colleges, I will take the liberty of stating an occurrence 
of early life, which transpired with myself, in the prac- 
tice of medicine. In the State of Virginia, my first 
patient was an old gentleman of distinction, Col. Willis. 
His unbounded confidence in me, when taken sick, 
induced him to employ me in preference to his old 
physicians. The Col. was a man of full plethoric 
habit, and had been taken with violent bilious fever. 
I bled him copiously; puked and purged him, with 
small doses of emetic tarter, to determine to the sur- 
face, or in other words to produce a moisture on the 
skin, and thereby lessen the fever. But all my reme- 
dies were unsuccessful; for the truth was I did not 
know his constitution, or habit; and to describe to you 
my feelings on this occasion would be impossible — and 
here vanished all my theories, for want of a little sound 
judgment and practical knowledge. To the informa- 
tion given me, however, by a faithful servant who had 
attended on him more than thirty years, I was indebted 
for his recovery. He stated that while he was in 
Philadelphia with his master, he had a similar attack, 
and was attended by Doct. Rush: that the Doct. had 
given him warm brandy toddy — for said he "my mas- 
ter always loved a little brandy, and most generally 
enjoyed himself." 1 took this seasonable hint from 
honest Bob, whose information had destroyed all my 
college theories, and taught me to scrutinize the consti- 



182 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

tution and habits: for in little more than fifteen minutes 
after I had given him some warm toddy, he broke out 
into a fine sweat, and soon entirely recovered. I after- 
wards related the anecdote to the Col. himself, who, 
after laughing heartily at the joke, assured me that 
Bob was certainly right. I shall close these general 
remarks <4i fever, by giving you the key to medicine, 
or the am of distinguishing the true state of the system, 
without which it would be impossible to administer 
medicine with certainty of success. 



THE PULSE. 

This is indeed the key of medicine; for without 
authentic and minute information on the subject of the 
pulse, it is impossible for you to proceed to administer 
medicine to the sick with any certainty of success. 
But I shall describe it to you plainly, and in words of 
such common use, that any person of common sense 
can understand this great secret of medicine in the 
art of judging disease. 

The meaning of the pulse, is the beating or throb- 
bing of an artery; there being no pulse whatever in 
the veins. The meaning of an artery is a large blood- 
vessel, branching out into smaller ones, which carry 
the blood from the heart to the ends of the body ; in 
other words, to the points of the fingers and toes, where 
they join with the veins, which bring the blood back 
again to the heart: as I said before, the arteries throb 
or beat, and the veins do not. By pressing your mid- 
dle finger hard on the vein, you will feel the artery 
beat under it distinctly. Every time the heart beats, it 
throws a column of blood into the arteries ; then again 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 183 

the heart contracts or draws up, and a fresh portion of 
blood is forced on into the arteries. Reflect for a 
moment on this wonderful machine, the heart; it goes 
with greater regularity than any watch, and at the rate 
of about four thousand one hundred and fifty strokes 
every hour. The swelling and contracting of the arte- 
ry, then, constitute what I mean by the pulse-, and 
therefore you may find the pulse in any part of the 
body where the artery runs near enough to the surface ; 
for instance at the wrist — the temple — bend of the 
arm — under the lower end of the thigh — under the 
lower jaw — and on the top of the instep of the foot. 
In different persons, although in perfect health, you 
will find the pulse differ very much: the usual standard 
of health, however, is from 75 to 80 strokes in a 
minute. — In children it is much quicker ; and in old 
persons it is more slow and weak. Owing to the 
decreasing energy of the heart as you advance in age, 
it becomes less and less capable of propelling the blood 
through the arteries, which occasions the medical term 
debility, meaning weakness. By running, riding, 
walking, jumping, eating, drinking, speaking, joy, anger, 
&c. you increase the pulse: and in like manner you 
diminish the pulse, by fear, grief, depression of spirits, 
want of food, frequent stools, flux, or any thing else 
that tends to weaken the system. In feeling the pulse, 
you must make allowance for all these things; and 
always wait until all momentary emotions of the mind 
and passions have subsided and passed off. 

1st. A full, tense, and strong pulse, terms used by 
physicians, is when you find that the artery resists the 
pressure of your fingers— feels full — and sicells boldly 
under their pressure. If, added to these, the beating 
be rapid and quick, the pulse is called full and strong: 



184 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

if slow, it is called iceak and fluttering, and an irreg- 
ular pulse. 

2d. A hard and corded pulse, is that in which the 
artery feels like a string drawn tight; and when you 
press it with your fingers, it gives considerable resis- 
tance. 

3d. The soft and intermitting pulses, give their own 
meaning by name, and are very easily distinguished 
from each other; as in cases of great weakness, lan- 
guor of circulation, or on the approach of death. 

4th. When the stomach and bowels are oppressed, 
it frequently produces an intermitting pulse, which 
sometimes also arises from an agitation of the mind. 
A vibrating pulse, acting under the fingers like a 
thread, as if the artery were smaller, with quick pidsa- 
tions but very weak and irregular, may be considered 
as proving a highly dangerous state of the system: 
you will know this pulse by its being accompanied with 
heavy and deep sighs, difficulty of breathing, and a 
dead and heavy languor of the eye. By being atten- 
tive to the instructions given above, no man can be at 
a loss to distinguish the different states of the pulse, by 
which different diseases are indicated, as well as their 
different stages. 



AGUE AND FEVER. 

This disease generally makes its visit in the fall 
season of the year; and those who live on the rivers or 
low lands, are more than others subject to its ravages. 
There are three stages of this disease, which are in 
substance the same thing, differing in only the intermis- 
sion or length of time in which they make their attacks. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 185 

The first — is that which comes on every twenty-four 
hours: — this is called by Doctors, quotidian. 

The second — is that which comes on every forty 
hours: this is called tertian. 

The third — comes on every forty-eight hours, and 
is called by physicians quartan. 

I have merely mentioned these stages, in order that 
I might describe the disease more plainly, for the 
remedies and the treatment for the cure are the same ; 
and the only difference between them simply is, as to 
their severity and time of coming on. If very severe, 
the remedies should be the most active: — on the contra- 
ry, if mild and gentle, remedies less active and power- 
ful will answer. 

I have said above, that there are three stages of this 
complaint — the cold — the hot — and the sweating. 
In the first, there is much yawning- and stretching, the 
feet and hands become cold, the skin looks shrivelled , 
you seem to lose the use of your limbs by weakness, 
your pulse is small and frequent, you dislike to move, 
and finally take a chill succeeded by a cold shake. 
This shake continues about ten or fifteen minutes, 
according to the severity of the attack. In the second 
stage, as the chill and shaking go off, a pain in the head 
and back comes on, succeeded by flushings of heat. 
You now begin to burn with heat and thirst, and desire 
that the covering be removed that you may feel the cool 
air. Your face is red, your skin dry, your pulse be- 
comes regular, hard and full. In severe attacks, where 
the blood determines to the head, I have frequently 
known delirium for a time. In the commencement of 
the third and last stage, the intense heat begins to sub- 
side, moisture begins to break out on the forehead, 
gradually extending itself over the whole body, the 



186 MJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

fever abates, thirst diminishes, breathing becomes free 
and full, desire to make water, which deposits a sedi- 
ment in the urinal or pot: — you then feel considerably 
relieved as the sweat increases, which soon restores 
you to your usual feelings and sensations, except great 
weakness and extreme prostration of strength. 
REMEDIES. 
In the cold stage, take warm teas of any kind, pro- 
vided they are weak — such as sage, balm, hyssop, 
ground ivy, &c. &c: make hot applications to the feet; 
and if you will apply a bandage, wound round the 
right foot and leg, from the toes to the groin, and anoth- 
er bandage, wound round the opposite or left hand and 
arm, from the fingers to the shoulder, drawing both 
pretty tight, so as to compress the muscles without 
impeding the circulation of the blood, the shake will 
be much shortened by it; but you must not omit to 
loosen these bandages gradually, as the shake is going 
off. In many instances, the Ague and Fever can be 
entirely cured, by taking immediately from fifty to 
sixty drops of laudanum, with a few drops of pepper- 
mint, in warm tea of any of the kinds mentioned above, 
on feeling the commencement of the chill; and as 
soon as the hot stage approaches, continuing to drink 
the warm tea plentifully, with a little acid of any kind 
in it. If during this hot stage, the fever runs very high 
with considerable pain in the head, the loss of some 
blood would be proper. The object being, however, to 
bring on as early as possible the sweating stage, put 
into a pint of the tea or warm water, from four to five 
grains of tartar emetic, and give two or three spoon- 
fulls occasionally, so as to produce slight sickness of 
the stomach, which will promote and aid the sweating 
stage. My practice in this disease is, on its first ap- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 187 

pearance to give a puke of tarter emetic — for dose 
refer to the table. After cleansing the stomach, I give 
an active dose of calomel and jalop — and if that is not 
sufficient, I follow it with some mild purge, such as 
salts, castor oil, or senna and manna. Supposing, then, 
that the stomach and bowels are freed from their im- 
pure contents; the skin moist, arid the body kept 
moderately open by gentle purgatives: it will then be 
proper to give the dog-wood baric, the wild cherry- 
tree bark, and poplar-tree bark, I allude to the large 
swamp poplar. These three kinds of bark are to be 
boiled in water, until their juices are extracted, and the 
water then given cold to the patient, and in such quan- 
tities as the stomach will bear. This disease is some- 
times succeeded by a low, lingering, and constant fever ; 
this must always be removed before the extract of the 
different kinds of bark just mentioned is given; nor 
ought it ever to be given in any paroxysm of fever, 
however slight — because in such cases it invariably 
does material injury. From causes depending on the 
constitution at the time of taking this disease, it is 
sometimes extremely difficult to cure; and persons who 
have had it more than twelve months, have placed 
themselves under my care. In these cases, when the 
various remedies above noticed have failed, I have used 
with great success the cold salt bath, as directed under 
the head of cold bathing. When a bathing machine 
cannot be had, a strong brine poured over the naked 
body in the morning when rising, is the best expedient 
that can be used ; always taking care to wipe the body 
perfectly dry with a coarse towel; after which it might 
be well to return again to bed for an hour, before 
taking the morning meal, immediately before which , 
any common bitter such as tansy in spirits may be 



188 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

taken. When the disease is of long continuance, elixir 
vitriol is a good remedy, and may be given in doses of 
eight or ten drops, in a wine or stem glass of cold 
water, during the days on which the cold bath is used. 
I do not think it necessary to take the barks, as before 
described, when an ague-cake or hardness, termed by 
physicians an enlargement of the spleen, has taken 
place ; in such a case, use a tight broad bandage round 
the belly, with a padding of wool or cotton immediate- 
ly over the hard cake in the side, and take care two 
or three times a day to rub the place well with a coarse 
woollen cloth or flesh-brush. This is called friction 
by physicians and friction will be the more properly 
kept up by the wearing flannel next the skin. 

It will be proper here to state, that in some cases 
where the dog-wood bark, the wild cherry tree bark, 
and the swamp-poplar bark, prepared as I have men- 
tioned, disagree with the stomach, which is sometimes 
the case from long sickness, the tea or decoction may 
be rubbed on the skin of children or delicate persons, 
and will produce an excellent effect. Another method 
of operating by the skin, with children and delicate 
women, is as follows: have a jacket made to fit the 
body, line it with the kinds of barks mentioned, which 
can easily be done, and cause it to be worn next the 
body. Both these modes of operating by the skin, have 
been known to produce fine tonic or strengthening 
effects, in cases of obstinate and long standing. 

I shall now conclude these remarks, by giving the 
method of treating this disease by the Spaniards in the 
island of Cuba. I there witnessed its unbounded 
success ; and in no instance in which the remedy was 
fairly tried, did I ever know it to fail of success. 
Make a good sized cup of strong coffee, sweeten it 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 189 

well, and mix with it an equal quantity of lime or 
lemon juice. This juice may be had at any of the 
stores, doctor's shops, &,c. the doses to be taken just 
before the shake is expected to come on, and must be 
drank warm, and on an empty stomach. This simple 
and always practicable preparation, may be relied on 
as a most valuable remedy. But the Spaniards of the 
island of Cuba, are not the only persons acquainted 
with this powerful and efficient remedy. It is noticed 
in Doctor Pouqueville's travels in the Morea, as fol- 
lows: — "I have often seen intermitting fevers subdued 
entirely, by a mixture of strong coffee and lemon or 
lime juice, which is a successful remedy all over this 
country. The proportions are three quarters of an 
ounce of coffee, ground fine — with two ounces of lemon 
juice, and three of water, the mixture to be drank 
warm and fasting." — I quote from memory, but with a 
perfect assurance of being right. 

It may be well before quitting the subject of Ague 
and Fever, to mention for the information of my rea- 
ders, the late practice of physicians — which is as 
follows. As soon as the chill has somewhat subsided, 
take a good dose of calomel — see the table. Next — 
when the fever goes off, and you commence sweating, 
take two grains of quinine, which is the extract of 
Peruvian bark. This quinine or extract of bark, must 
be mixed with a tea-spoonful of Epsom or other salts, 
and taken in water as you would take common salts. 
Take this dose every two hours, until you takej^re 
doses; but you must omit to put in the salts, so soon 
as the bowels have been freely moved ; because a con- 
tinued looseness of the bowels would carry off the bark 
before it could operate on the system. Should the fever 
not go off in six hours, take a dose of castor oil to 



190 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

carry off the calomel — and then as soon as the fever 
has left you, take the quinine or extract of bark, as 
before directed. 



BILIOUS FEVER. 

Bilious Fever, is nothing more nor less than the 
Ague and Fever just before described, under some- 
thing of a different modification or character: — that is 
to say, in Ague and Fever there is at certain times an 
entire intermission or stoppage of the disease ; whereas, 
in Bilious Fever, there is nothing more than an abate- 
ment or lowering of the fever for a time. The analogy 
or likeness between them is so strong, that in both 
cases the patient is taken with a chill ; and the little 
difference that does exist between them in the outset, 
consists in the simple circumstance, that the pulse in 
Bilious Fever is more tense and full. If, however, 
the attack of Bilious Fever be severe, the skin becomes 
very hot after the chill, and sometimes of a yellowish 
hue; there is likewise great pain in the head; the 
tongue changes from white to brown, as the fever in- 
creases the eyes require a fiery color and expression, 
and the whites have a yellow tinge ; the light becomes 
painful to the patient, and he requires the room to be 
darkened; his bowels are very costive, and his urine 
highly colored; by these symptoms, any man of com- 
mon sense may be enabled to distinguish bilious fever.. 
REMEDIES. 

This formidable and dangerous disease, may in 
most instances be easily subdued, if you will divest 
yourself of irresolution and timidity in the commence- 
ment of the attack: — I make this remark, because I 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 191 

have witnessed many instances, in which timidity and 
over-caution in the treatment of this disease, have 
proved fatal to the sufferer.— You are to depend on the 
lancet; and in the next and most important instance, 
on purging well with large doses of calomel and 
jalap. On the first appearance of this disease, give a 
good puke of tartar emetic, so as to cleanse well the 
stomach— taking care to make its operation fully effec- 
tive, hy giving warm camomile tea. When the fever 
comes on, bleed freely, and regulate the quantity of 
blood drawn, by the symptoms and the severity of the 
attack: then give or administer, if to an adult or grown 
person, twenty grains of calomel and twenty of jalap; 
and if that is not sufficient, repeat the dose with thirty 
grains of calomel, and work it off if necessary with 
castor oil-salts— or senna and manna: for dose see 
table of medicines. By these active purgatives, given 
in time, you will in nine cases out of ten give relief in 
a few hours; nor keep your patient lingering perhaps 
for weeks, and at length lose him. The administration 
of small doses of calomel, say of eight or ten grains, 
has been productive of all the injury that has disgraced 
the profession respecting the use of calomel, for several 
years past. A large dose always carries itself off; 
whilst a small one remains in the system, and frequent- 
ly does much mischief, if neglected to be carried off by 
castor oil, or some laxative medicine; therefore let me 
urge you, as you value the recovery and life of your 
patient, to give active and powerful purgatives of 
calomel The only danger in this disease, arises from 
giving tonic or strengthening medicines, before the 
stomach and bowels are completely cleansed by an 
evacuation of their contents. If the fever should still 
continue, notwithstanding the administration of the 



192 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

foregoing medicines, my plan is to follow Dr. Rush's 
famous prescription, of ten grains of calomel and ten 
of jalap ; the frequency of which prescription with the 
Doctor, procured him among his students the ludicrous 
nickname of "Old Ten-in-ten." But the fact is that 
this dose, after the stomach and bowels have been 
thorougly cleansed, acts well upon the skin, and as a 
purge, and drives the sweat from every pore, thereby 
lessening and finally breaking the fever. 

During this fever, generally speaking, the skin is 
obstinately dry; and it therefore becomes important, 
that a determination should take place to the surface 
— in other words, that a moisture or sweat should take 
place on the skin, for the purpose of breaking the fever: 
therefore the nitrous powders should be given. The 
directions for making them are: to sixty grains of salt 
petre, add sixteen grains of calomel, and one grain of 
emetic tartar. Mix them well together by pounding 
them very fine; divide them next into eight powders; 
and give one of them, in a little honey or syrup, every 
two or three hours. Emetic tartar, made weak with 
water and given at intervals, will produce the same 
effect; antimonial wine and sweet spirits of nitre, mix- 
ed equal quantities, and a tea-spoonful given occasion- 
ally, or every hour, will have the same effect; for 
antimonial wine is nothing more than emetic tartar 
mixed with wine, and sweet spirits of nitre is made 
from salt petre. Ipecacuanha, in doses of one or two 
grains, repeated every two or three hours, is also a 
good remedy to produce sweating. In this disease you 
will sometimes have an obstinate, severe and tedious 
case; in which you will find that the most active pur- 
gatives will not answer your wishes and expectations. 
Here the warm bath combined, will be found excellent 



UUKX'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



193 



in relaxing the system and taking off the strictures of 
the vessels: and when you make use of the bath, be 
particular in making it of a temperature pleasant to the 
patient. Always follow the bath with injections or 
glysters, made of warm soap-suds ; or molasses and 
water, pleasantly warm but not hot, to which may be 
added a little vinegar; these injections will cool the 
bowels, and remove from the larger intestines any 
offensive matter. 

When the fever is on, the sponging or wetting the 
body with cold vinegar and water, will reduce the heat 
of the body, and be a great source of comfort to the 
sick person. If there is a pain in the head, cold appli- 
cations of vinegar and water will be of much benefit 
in relieving the violence of the pain. On the decline 
of this fever, night sweats sometimes occur: in these 
cases use elixir vitriol, and gentle exercise in the open 
air. In Bilious fevers, a want of sleep and watchful- 
ness often occur: the warm bath and a pillow of hops, 
and the room kept dark and all things quiet, will no 
doubt procure the desired tranquility; and if no in j 
flammatory action or considerable fever exists, a dose 
of laudanum may be administered. The misfortune 
in the country is, that many persons who come to sit 
up with the sick, talk so incessantly as to prevent the 
sick person from having the repose necessary for pro- 
moting a speedy recovery: — and it may be important 
here to remark, that whenever laudanum or opium is 
given, the person must be kept undisturbed and perfect- 
ly quiet. — When the stomach is irritable, warm mint 
leaves stewed in spirits and applied to the pit of the 
stomach, will be proper — and then if the irritability 
should continue, the application of a cataplasm of 

25 



A 



194 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

mustard seed, or a large blister, will infallibly relieve 
the irritation, and quiet the stomach. 

I have now taken a comprehensive view of this 
disease, and given plainly and simply the remedies, and 
shall close with the following remarks. If the calomel 
taken in this fever salivates, you should not be alarmed 
or uneasy, but consider it a source from which you 
have derived safety to your patient; for when Bilious 
fever is dangerous, the sooner salivation takes place, 
after the stomach and bowels have been thoroughly 
cleansed, the safer for the patient. It is to produce 
this effect, that physicians give small doses of calomel 
every two hours, say from one to two grains, in any 
kind of syrup; for when salivation is produced, you 
may consider the danger of the patient at an end, the 
rest depending altogether on care and good nursing. 
After good purging, without salivation, I have found 
good nursing and kind attention the best and most 
salutary medicine. Cooling drinks, slightly acid, will 
be proper: and when the fever is subdued, cold camo- 
mile tea may be given as a drink, or a bitter made 
with dog-wood bark, poplar bark, and Virginia snake- 
root, may be given as a cold tea, in small quantities, 
as the stomach will bear. 



*■ 



NERVOUS FEVER. 
This fever carries in its title or name, its true char- 
acter ; because it affects the whole nervous system, and 
produces a tremulous motion of the body and limbs: 
the system seems to be sinking; there is a clammy, 
cold, and unnatural perspiration or sweat on the skin, 
and the pulse is extremely weak. Next, the sweat 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 195 

subsides, and the skin becomes dry and hot to the 
touch ; and at the same time, the arteries of the tem- 
ples and neck throb and beat with considerable action. 
The sleep is very much disturbed and unfreshing ; the 
countenance sinks or seems to change from its natural 
expression of feature, to a ghastly appearance; the 
tongue becomes dry, and frequently trembles, when put 
out, and with the teeth and gums, soon becomes cover- 
ed with a dark buff-colored scurf; the spirits flag, and 
the mind broods over the most melancholy feelings, 
without knowing the cause; the sight of food is very 
unpleasant and sometimes disgusting, the stomach be- 
ing generally much debilitated and weak ; the difficulty 
of breathing becomes very considerable, and some- 
times the hands are glowing with heat, whilst the fore- 
head is covered with sweat. The symptoms consider- 
ed very dangerous are, a constant inclination to throw 
off the cover; a changing of the voice from its usual 
tone; great vigilance or watchfulness; picking at the 
bed-clothing; inability to hold or retain the urine; in- 
voluntary discharges from the bowels: hiccuping; a 
muttering as if speaking to one's self; a wild and fixed 
look, as if the eyes were rivelted on some particular 
object; if these latter symptoms occur, there is little to 
expect but that the case will terminate fatally. 

This fever originates from putrid animal and vegeta- 
ble matter mixing with the air or atmosphere we 
breathe, such for instance as the decaying vegetable 
and animal matter arising from stagnant mill-ponds or 
any other ponds; or from filth and dirt, and want of 
personal cleanliness ; or from any thing else that tends 
to weaken the system materially. This disease also 
arises from Bilious fever, mentioned before; which, 
when of long standing sometimes changes into nervous 



196 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

fever: and I have known it to remain in the system ten 
days before it broke out violently, having come on so 
slowly and gradually as to produce no alarm. 
REMEDIES. 
The lancet, or in other words bleeding, in this 
disease is certain death: no inducement whatever could 
prevail on me to bleed in Nervous or Typhus fever. 
Bleeding has been recommended by some physicians, 
when inflammatory symptoms appeared in the first 
stage of the disease; but I positively assert that it is 
wrong, and denounce such doctrine as dangerous to 
the last degree ; the fact is that in nineteen cases out of 
twenty, bleeding in this disease will result in death. 
There are two important considerations to be noticed 
in this fever: the first is — when it originates in itself 
at the first cause, and the second is — when it turns or 
sinks from Bilious fever, to a Nervous or Typhus. In 
the first case, give a puke of Tartar Emetic, or of 
Ipecacuanha; see table for the dose; which mix with 
warm water until it is dissolved, say in six or eight table- 
spoonsful. Next give a table spoonful every ten minutes, 
until copious vomiting is produced, encouraging the 
puking after it has commenced, by drinking freely of 
warm camomile tea, or warm water — the object being 
to cleanse the stomach. Then attend to the bowels 
with laxative medicines, such as rhubarb, cream-tartar, 
Epsom salts, &c. so as to free or throw off the contents 
of the bowels, which when in a costive state, increases 
irritation and fever. You must, however, by no means 
produce heavy purging ; it is dangerous ; and your own 
good sense will show you that it is a disease of debility 
or weakness. The object is merely to keep the bowels 
gently open, say by one or two stools a day, which will 
he quite sufficient. I always give glvsters made of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 197 

thin gruel of corn meal, strained with a tea-spoonful of 
hog's lard in them: they are to be given milk-warm 
from a bladder or pipe, and carefully thrown up into the 
bowels — look under the head "clyster," and those 
who do not understand the matter will find it explained. 
In the second place, when this disease sinks from 
Bilious Fever, to a Nervous or Typhus Fever, you 
will find the last part of the symptoms to agree with 
the sinking state of the system, and requiring moderate 
tonics, or stimulous and strengthening medicines. The 
danger of this fever, is in proportion to the weakness 
which attends it; and therefore you will easily see the 
importance of early supporting the system by stimulants, 
such as good wine, warm toddy, &c. This distinction 
of the sinking state of the system, must be obvious; 
and sufficiently plain to be observed by every person of 
common sense. But I will still explain it further, in 
order that no mistake can possibly be made, in the 
course to be pursued ; and shall state accordingly the 
following directions. Stimulants — in other words com- 
mon spirituous liquors, such as whiskey, rum, brandy, 
&c. must be made palatable to the patient, which must 
be given regularly, and varied as to quantity, according 
to what the case may seem to require. If they increase 
the pulse considerably, so as to occasion restlessness, a 
dry tongue, attended with thirst, a flushed face, in other 
words, increased fever, they are improper, and you must 
discontinue their use. On the contrary, if they produce 
refreshing sleep, a pulse slower, softer and more regular, 
and the patient feels sensible of relief— you are to con- 
tinue the use of stimulants sufficiently to support and 
strengthen your patient, adding at the same time gen- 
erous diet, and a pill of opium at night to procure rest: 
see tnbie for dose. Blisters applied to the extremities. 



198 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

or cataplasms made of mustard and strong vinegar, will 
be highly necessary in a sinking state of the system. 

If the head is affected with delirium, keep cloths con- 
stantly applied to it, wet in the coldest water and vinegar, 
changing them as they become warm: and if the deliri- 
um should still continue, a blister applied to the head, 
after shaving off the hair, will be necessary. If pur- 
ging takes place in this disease, which it sometimes does, 
it must be stopped by laudanum or opium, given in small 
but frequent doses, increasing or diminishing them as 
necessity may require: for, if the purging should con- 
tinue in this complaint, which is weakness or debility, 
your own good sense must teach you, that it would 
speedily terminate in death from increased debility or 
weakness. The late remedy used by physicians, which 
is called quinine, or extract of Peruvian bark, is a good 
remedy, from the fact of its taking up less room in the 
stomach than the bark in substance. This quinine or 
extract must be made into pills with some kind of syrup ; 
and must contain from one grain, to one and a half of 
the extract, and given three or four times a day, as the 
system may be able to bear the doses. The extract is 
a powerful tonic or stimulant, and may sometimes be 
difficult to be obtained: in this event the black snake 
root, commonly called Virginia snake-root should be 
used ; its virtues are not merely considerable, but highly 
valuable in this disease, combined with dog-wood bark, 
or even without it; and I recommend it in preference 
to any remedy. The form of administering it is in 
decoction, or as a tincture — that is, mixed with spirits 
of some kind. This root is perfectly harmless, except 
when high inflammatory action exists ; that is to say, 
considerable fever. In the secondary stage of fever, 
where the skin has been obstinately dry, I have used 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 199 

this little root with unbounded success, not only in this 
particular disease, but in all fevers; and also where 
the symptoms indicated rapid prostration and death. 
Encouraged by my success in its use, I earnestly recom- 
mend that it be adopted in fevers generally, and more 
particularly in those I have described. 

The salt bath, made as directed under the head of 
bathing, similar to sea water, is as valuable a remedy as 
can possibly be used, in that state of the system when 
the heat of the body requires lessening: or if you would 
prefer it, you may sponge the body well with cold water 
and vinegar. These remedies by bathing or sponging 
the body, you will recollect are only to be used when 
there are no chilly or cold sensations ; for if there are 
such, they would probably prove fatal: and you are also 
to remember, that they are to be used with as little 
fatigue as possible to the patient. This disease is fre- 
quently marked with extreme weakness of the stomach, 
called by physicians debility; in this case common 
yeast will be highly beneficial, administered every three 
or four hours — say two table spoonsful: and if the stools 
are very offensive, you may add a tea-spoonful of com- 
mon charcoal to the yeast. By this the offensive state 
of the bowels will soon be corrected ; and to insure the 
perfect knowledge of the reader on this subject, I will 
remark, that if the yeast and charcoal produce good 
effects, the pulse will rise and become slower and fuller, 
and the burning heat of the skin will subside. Under 
these circumstances, the remedy should be continued. 
I shall now finish my remarks on Nervous Fever, which 
have been extended to a greater length than was at first 
intended, in consequence of the recollection that it is a 
very common malady in Tennessee. Doctor Currie, 
and many other eminent practitioners of medicine, have 



200 UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

given the best testimonials and favorable results, in the 
first stage of this fever, from the use of the cold bath, or 
in other words from throwing cold water over the body, 
wiping dry, and returning to bed immediately. From 
the experience of so many distinguished men, I yield to 
their judgment ; but, from my own experience, I should 
prefer the salt bath, as before mentioned — or sponging 
the body with vinegar and water made milk- warm ; this 
however, is never resorted to, until the stomach and 
bowels have been freed of their contents: or medically 
speaking, which means the same thing, until the whole 
alimentary canal has been evacuated. 



COLIC. 

In this disease the belly is considerably swelled, and 
seems to be bound round tightly with a cord ; and there 
is also a disagreeable feeling about the navel, belching 
of wind, costiveness, and frequently the most excrucia- 
ting misery. I have had many cases, in which a cold 
clammy sweat has been produced on the forehead by 
the intense sufferings of the person afflicted. This com- 
plaint comes on without fever, but if it continues it will 
produce fever, and perhaps inflammation, unless soon 
relieved. It arises from wind, termed by physicians 
flatulence — from indigestible food that has been taken 
into the stomach — from acrid bile — from hardened fae- 
ces, which means the stool — by suddenly stopping the 
perspiration, or sweat — or from getting the feet wet — or 
from exposure — or from worms — and lastly, from the 
application of poisons to the stomach, of a metallic 
nature — by which I mean metals under various forms 
and preparations. 



QVm&B tfOMX&ttC MEDICINE. 201 

REMEDIES. 
If the colic is produced from wind, which you will 
know from belching, or from a rumbling noise in the 
bowels, or from the ease you experience by a discharge 
of wind, a tumbler of warm whiskey toddy, made with 
warm water, sugar and spirit — to which may be added 
peppermint, or strong mint tea, or tea made of ginger, 
calamus, dog-wood blossoms, give relief! The appli- 
cation of warm salt to the belly will give ease immedi- 
ately, or until more powerful remedies can be given. 
If the stomach is much distressed, an application of 
garden mint made warm by stewing it, and applying it 
to the pit of the stomach is excellent. You will then 
immediately, if necessary to the relief of the person 
afflicted, give a simple clyster, made after the following 
directions: a quart of thin gruel, made of corn meal 
and strained; to this add a table-spoonful of hog's 
lard, and another of common salt, which must be 
thrown up about milk-warm into the bowels. For 
further directions as to clystering, look under that head 
for instructions, as to the apparatus to be made use 
of If the pain still continue, and the person be corpu- 
lent or fat, bleed and give the warm bath immediately. 
If you have no bathing vessel, or tub large enough to 
put the body in, apply cloths dipped in hot water and 
wrung out, as warm to the belly as they can be borne. If 
the above remedies fail, give a table-spoonful of castor 
oil, and in it put fifteen or twenty grains of calomel ; and 
if there is yet no relief, give one grain of opium and 
ten grains of calomel, and continue the clysters. But, 
if the pain does not yet abate, laudanum must be given 
in large doses, both by the mouth and by mixing it in 
the clyster. The doses of laudanum must be increased 

gradually until relief is obtained; and I have given as 

20 



W2 



gdnn's domestic; medicine. 



much as a table-spoonful before I could effect my 
purpose. If the misery be excruciating, to a grown 
person I begin with fifty or sixty drops in mint tea — 
and when relief is obtained, I give a good dose of 
castor oil, and clyster to open the bowels: this prac- 
tice has been generally successful. The practice of 
the Baltimore Institution, as directed by Doctor Tater- 
son when professor there, was in desperate cases to 
give a simple clyster as before mentioned, omitting the 
salt and lard — reducing the quantity to half a pint of 
gruel, and putting into it fifteen or twenty grains of 
emetic tartar and injecting it into the bowels. This 
remedy I tried in Virginia, in two or three desperate 
cases of colic, with perfect success; but it should never 
be used, unless the situation and violence of the case 
demand its administration: it is an active and power- 
ful remedy, and may be relied on in urgent cases. 
Persons who are subject to this dangerous complaint, 
should be very cautious as to their diet or food, abstain- 
ing from every thing that disagrees with them; and 
above all, they ought to avoid costiveness, or in other 
words they ought to go to stool every day at a certain 
time, and solicit nature to perform her duty — for by so 
doing, a habit of evacution will be at length produced, 
which will overcome the most obstinate costiveness: 
and to produce a stool, a piece of hard soap about half 
the length of the finger, may be introduced up the 
passage. In all obstinate cases, which seem not to 
yield to common remedies, examine the passage of the 
fundament with the finger, so that if there be any hard 
lumps of excrement they may be removed — for while 
they remain, all your purges and clysters will be 
useless. 

A spirituous infusion of the berries or of the bark of 



OUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



203 



the prickly ash, is made use of in Virginia in violent 
colic, and is a good remedy. This tree is a native of 
Jamaica and other tropical countries, as well as of the 
United States, and grows to the height of sixteen feet, 
and is about twelve inches in diameter. It somewhat 
resembles the common ash, and the bark is covered 
with sharp prickles. The fresh juice expressed from 
the root, affords certain relief in colic, and what is 
called dry belly-ache. The important fact was dis- 
covered in the West Indies, by watching a female slave 
who collected the root in the woods, and gave two 
spoonsful of the juice to a negro suffering under that 
colic called the dry belly-ache, at intervals of two 
hours. It occasioned profound and composed sleep for 
twelve hours, when all sense of pain and suffering had 
vanished ; and the cure was completed by giving an 
infusion of the expressed root in water by way of diet 
drink. 



CHOLERA MORBUS, OR PUKING AND 
PURGING. 

This disease is generally produced by the food 
becoming rancid or acid on the stomach ; and if from 
an over quantity of bile, the purging and puking will 
show it, by the discharges being intermixed with a 
dark bilious matter. This disease is also produ- 
ced from breathing damp air; or from being expos- 
ed to inclement weather; or from getting the feet wet: 
— but mostly from eating such food as disagrees with 
the stomach and bowels. The mind has a powerful 
influence in this complaint; and I have frequently 
observed in my practice, that the disease was produced 



204 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

in many cases of females in delicate health, by the 
passions of the mind, as well as by sudden stoppages 
of the menstrual discharge. The disease generally 
commences with sickness of the stomach — painful 
griping, succeeded by heat and thirst, quickness and 
shortness of breathing, with a quick and fluttering 
pulse. When the case is dangerous, the extremities 
become cold — the perspiration or sweat is clammy and 
cold — there is also cramp, and great changes and 
irregularities of the pulse, which when accompanied 
with hiccupping, are strong evidences of the approach 
of death. 

REMEDIES. 
Apply to the stomach and belly, cloths steeped in 
warm water, or in spirits in which camphor has been 
dissolved ; or you may apply a warm poultice, made of 
garden mint stewed; or a poultice made of mustard 
and strong vinegar, will be found of great service 
applied to the stomach ; or a blister of cantharides or 
Spanish flies: and in extremely dangerous cases, where 
it is not practicable to draw a blister in the usual way, 
do not hesitate to scald the part with boiling water — at 
the same time applying hot rocks or bricks to the feet. 
Give hot whiskey toddy, or that made of any other 
kind of spirit ; let it be strongly mixed with peppermint, 
or ginger, or calamus ; and let chicken water or thin 
gruel be freely taken by the patient. Give clysters 
made by pouring boiling water on the inner bark of 
slippery elm, or those made of flax-seed tea, either of 
which must be thrown up into the bowels milk-warm. 
See under the head of clystering, for the manner of 
administering this operation. — The first object in this 
dangerous complaint is, to cleanse the stomach and 
Rowels of any offensive matter — after which the giving 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 205 

of thirty-five or forty drops of laudanum in mint tea 
will be proper; and if these should not arrest the pro- 
gress of the disease, make a clyster of a table-spoonful 
of starch and a half a pint of warm water, in which 
put a tea-spoonful of laudanum, and throw it up the 
bowels as directed under the head "clyster." If this 
does not give relief in fifteen or twenty minutes, repeat 
it again — and again. 

If the person who is attacked is of a full habit, that 
is, fat, stout and vigorous, the loss of some blood by the 
arm, and the warm bath will be necessary. If the 
attack be moderate, a good dose of calomel will gener- 
ally put a stop to it — for this will evacuate the bowels, 
operate as a stimulus, and remove the diseased action. 

Very frequently this disease appears as a symptom 
of fever; and then of course you are to treat it as you 
would any other kind of fever. In all cases, after using 
laudanum to relieve your patient, particularly when 
you have used it to an extent, it is proper and necessa- 
ry to give, after relief, a good dose of castor oil. Per- 
sons who are subject to this sudden and dangerous 
disease, should be cautious as to what kind of food 
they indulge in ; and should be very particular in avoid- 
ing the causes which produce it; because by impru- 
dence, the disease may return with double violence and 
danger. 

The rapidity with which cholera morbus proceeds, 
requires the remedies to be promptly applied ; for the 
disease is generally speaking highly dangerous, and 
soon terminates the life of the sufferer, unless relief is 
speedily obtained. A few hours' suffering, in severe 
cases, weakens the patient surprisingly ; and therefore 
you will easily see the great importance of nourish- 
ment, of a light stimulating, and strengthening kind, 



206 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

being given. Besides attention to nourishing diet, wine 
with any kind of bitter ought to be given, or cold cam- 
omile tea three or four times a day, the dose a wine or 
stem glass full, or elixir vitriol, ten drops three times a 
day, in the tea made of black snake-root, or Virginia 
snake-root: besides all which, flannel ought to be put 
on next the skin of the patient. But, in concluding my 
remarks on the treatment of this complaint, I must urge 
the particular necessity of the warm bath and clysters, 
as almost certain means of relief, if properly and timely 
administered. 



RHEUMATISM. 
This painful and excruciating disease, in which the 
poor sufferer drags out a miserable and wretched exist- 
ence, is quite frequent throughout the western country 
— and particularly in East Tennesse. I shall commu- 
nicate respecting this disease, in which I have had much 
experience, such remedies as will, if properly managed, 
succeed in entirely removing it from the system, unless 
anchylosis of the joint has been formed ; for, in such 
a case nothing can possibly be done with it. Anchylo- 
sis means a stiff joint: this state of the system is exhibited 
generally under the form of Chronic Rheumatism, of 
ten or fifteen years standing. In every case where the 
patient can, in the slightest manner, move the joint, I 
have no hesitation in saying the cure can be made, 
if attentively and properly managed, according to the 
various methods of treatment laid down, which are as 
follows. Embracing the general mode of treatment as 
used by physicians, and the method I have invariably 
followed with unbounded success in Virginia and Ten- 



GUNN,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 207 

nessee, hundreds are now living in both states who can 
attest or prove, that they have been entirely cured of 
this disease by me, of many years standing, after they 
had become entirely helpless, and unable to walk or 
move without assistance. There are two diseases, or 
rather two different stages of this disease: one of which 
is called inflammatory, and the other chronic — the first 
is accompanied with fever, and the other, the last, is 
nearly or quite without fever, and of long standing. 

Rheumatism is brought on by exposure to the cold 
and wet; by sleeping in damp places; by remaining too 
long on the damp ground ; by sleeping in a current of 
air at night, immediately under an open window; by 
exposure to the night dews ; by taking off a warm dress 
and putting on a thin one ; by being greatly heated, and 
becoming suddenly cool, thereby checking the perspira- 
tion or sweat. 

There is a disease called by physicians, Rheumatic 
mei'curialis, which means Rheumatism produced by 
the improper use of Mercury; that is, by permitting 
the Mercury to remain in the system, without giving the 
proper remedy to carry it off, which is flour of sulphur. 
This flour of sulphur is nothing more than Brimstone 
purified, and pounded or ground very fine like flour ; it 
is the true and certain antidote against mercury; as you 
will find explained under the head of Sulphureous Fu- 
migation — or a sweat produced by the use of sulphur. 

First. — Inflammatory Rheumatism is to be relieved 
in the first stage by bleeding; as you will perceive by 
the fulness of the pulse, and by the person afflicted being 
of a robust and full habit of body: here it will be neces- 
sary to bleed freely from a large orifice. If the heat is 
great, you must proportion the loss of blood according 
to the violence of the symptoms; and you must repeat 



208 GUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the bleeding on the second day, if you find it necessary 
from the violence or continuation of the inflammatory 
symptoms, which can easily be distinguished by the 
pulse, the feelings of the sufferer, and lastly by suffering 
the blood to cool. If the blood, when cool, has on its 
surface a huffy coat of a yellowish hue, it denotes a 
highly inflammatory state of the system ; but, in bleed- 
ing, you must take care not to go so far as to produce 
debility: and, therefore, after the first bleeding, which 
must be regulated entirely by the violence of the attack, 
it will be proper to give an active purge of calomel and 
jalap, twenty grains of each, mixed well together, and 
afterwards with any kind of syrup. This should be 
carried off by gruel, or warm balm, sage, or dittany tea, 
if possible, to produce gentle sweat or moisture on the 
skin. If then the disease does not begin to yield, give 
another purge of ten grains of calomel and ten of jalap, 
mixed well, and given as before directed. This will 
procure purging, and a copious perspiration or sweat. 
You will find now, that by moderate purging, so as not 
to debilitate or weaken the patient, the complaint will 
begin to subside, or perhaps entirely cease. These mild 
purges must be of epsom salts, glauber salts, senna and 
and manna, or castor oil. If your patient at any time 
gets weak from purging, give warm toddy made of any 
kind of spirits; or if you wish effectually to check the 
purging, give twenty or thirty drops of laudanum or a 
pill of opium: see table for dose. This will arrest or 
put a stop to the purging; and if there is any griping, 
put the laudanum when you give it in some strong mint 
tea. When the joints are very painful, and the skin 
red, swelled and inflamed, cup over the parts: see under 
the head of cupping for the operation — which is very 
simple and easily performed. Cupping freely will be a 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 209 

useful remedy. The inflamed or swollen parts, should 
be kept wet with cloths dipped in vinegar made milk 
warm: and at night a poultice made of rye flour, mixed 
with vinegar and warm water, will give much relief. If 
the inflammatory symptoms are considerably removed, 
a pill of opium or a dose of laudanum, (see table for 
dose,) will procure the rest or sleep so much desired in 
this afflicting comprint. The parts which are painful 
should be well rubbed with a liniment, made of two 
table spoonsful of laudanum — two of spirits of harts- 
horn — mixed over a slow fire in four table-spoonsful of 
butter without any salt in it: this being put into a bottle 
and corked tight, must be used three times a day, at the 
rate of a tea-spoonful each time, and the parts kept well 
covered with flannel. These remedies should be used 
separately or together, as they may afford the afflicted 
person relief. The diet should be very light and cool- 
ing ; this being a matter of great importance. By strict 
attention to tiiis, you will be enabled to get quickly relie- 
ved, and save the taking a vast deal of medicine. In fact, 
while inflammation prevails, the less the patient takes of 
nourishment the better; and solid or animal food are 
both to be avoided. No spirits, wines, or stimulating 
drinks whatever are permitted in this state of the sys- 
tem: and even when the afflicted person is getting better 
he must take only such nourishments as are necessary 
to support the system and recruit its powers — for by 
imprudence in diet a relapse may take place, of a dan- 
gerous and languishing nature. 

Second. — Chronic Rheumatism, as distinguished 
from that called inflammatory rheumatism, has little or 
no fever. Chronic means, when the fever or inflamma- 
tory action, has nearly, or, indeed, entirely subsided. It 
is sometimes brought on as a mere consequence of 

n 



210 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

inflammatory rheumatism — and sometimes it proceeds 
from cold and exposure, or from the system being pre- 
disposed to it by some old disease; for it frequently 
steals on so gradually, that the patient bears with it until 
the pain seats itself in some particular joint, or part, 
giving the most excruciating pain. When fairly seated 
by length of time, it usually prevents the sufferer from 
using his limbs, and from the misery attending it through- 
out, large lumps or swellings are produced by it: these 
are the symptoms by which you will know chronic rheu- 
matism. 

This slow, obstinate, and painful disease, must be 
treated as follows: First — the bowels are to be kept open 
by the simple laxative of sulphur. A tea-spoonful must 
be given of a morning, mixed with honey, on an empty 
stomach — and one at night, if necessary to keep the 
bowels open. One or two purges a day will be suffi- 
cient: avoid the damp ground, and also getting wet 
while taking sulphur; because it opens all the pores of 
the system, and under these circumstances becomes 
dangerous. This medicine is truly valuable in this dis- 
ease, and too much can hardly be said in its favor; nor 
is there any danger in it, if you will but keep from the 
wet and damp. You may occasionally vary the treat- 
ment, by giving epsom salts in the room of sulphur, but 
it must be in moderate doses. The next object in curing 
this complaint is, to keep up a gentle moisture on the 
skin, in other words a gentle sweating ; and for this pur- 
pose I shall give you a remedy which is very simple; 
and which in itself has cured hundreds, both of rheu- 
matism and pains generally. Take one ounce of gum 
guiacum and two drachms of saltpetre, put these two 
articles, after pounding them together, into a quart of 
old whiskey, and give a table-spoonful in a little cold 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 211 

water, three times during the day. This dose is for a 
grown person. If the stomach be weak, lessen the dose 
in proportion — and so on for a delicate or weakly per- 
son. It acts as a powerful stimulant — produces gentle 
sweatings, &c. By continuing in the use of this simple 
remedy, in which there is no danger, I have effected 
cures in cases of long standing, several of which were 
considered hopeless. 

The principle to be pursued in removing this com- 
plaint is very simple: it is either by moderate or by 
profuse, which means large sweats. Take a blanket, or 
any thing which will prevent the steam from passing 
off, and put hoops into it, in the same manner that you 
would into a partridge net, so as to keep the blanket, or 
whatever else you use, on the stretch. Let the bottom 
hoop be large enough to cover a tub, or whatever other 
vessel you use: let the next hoop be something smaller, 
the next one smaller still, and so on up to the top one, 
which must be large enough to admit the head to be put 
through. This machine, or whatever else you may 
please to call it, must be long enough to cover the body 
without touching it, except at the neck, where it must 
fit so close as to prevent any steam from escaping, which 
might affect the nose, face, or any portion of the head. 
In this situation, the patient being enclosed in the case — 
naked: let him sit or stand, with hot rocks placed under 
him; on which so as to confine the steam to the body, 
let the following extract be gradually and very slowly 
poured. Four or five days before you wish to give this 
bath, take a quart of whiskey, and put into it half an 
ounce of saltpetre, one ounce of seneca snake-root, well 
bruised, and half an ounce of sulphur in a quart bottle. 
This liquor must be poured very slowly, or rather drop- 
ped through an aperture in the blanket on the rocks ; by 



212 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

which a powerful sweat will be produced, which must 
be continued for a quarter of an hour, if the patient be 
not too weak to bear it so long. When the patient is in 
this bath, if any faintness or sickness takes place, the 
bath is to be stopped, the patient wiped dry, and imme- 
diately put to bed: and if much debility or weakness 
seems to exist, you must stimulate with warm toddy, 
made of any kind of spirits, with warm water and sugan 
In my practice in Virginia, for five years I used this steam 
bath with unbounded success ; and in some cases which 
I considered absolutely hopeless, cures were produced. 
By the effects of the vapor or steam bath, as just descri- 
bed, I was induced to try its effects in two cases of 
inflammatory rheumatism, in which one of the patients 
was unable to move without assistance for six months 
previous; all the usual remedies in that stage of the 
disease having been tried without any benefit. John 
Sypold, a man of about thirty-five years of age, of a 
full habit, a resident of Montgomery county, Virginia, 
was hauled to me in a wagon nine miles, laboring under 
inflammatory rheumatism. His situation was truly mis- 
erable, from the most severe and excruciating pains. I 
determined, with his consent, and after explaining to 
him my doubts as to the final issue of his case, to try 
the following experiment. I bled him freely from both 
arms ; and his situation was such as to require five per- 
sons to assist me in getting him into a wooden case I 
had constructed for the purpose. His pain was so 
severe as scarcely to admit of his being turned over; 
but as soon as the steam was put in operation on him, 
he became tranquil — and in ten minutes a profuse sweat 
broke out on him, which produced great relief. He 
had continued in the bath fifteen minutes, when I pro- 
posed to have him removed: but the pleasantness of 



GUXN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



213 



his sensations induced him to desire me to let him 
remain: he said that those were the only moments in 
which he had experienced a relief from pain in six 
months. After continuing in the bath half an hour, he 
descended without assistance covered with sweat: his 
body was then rubbed well with coarse towels, and his 
joints also, with the liniment I have before described, 
made of hartshorn, laudanum, and butter without salt. 
I gave Mr. Sypold the bath three times, making each 
time shorter; in two weeks he was entirely relieved 
from pain, and in three months he walked to Lynch- 
burgh with his wagon, a distance of sixty miles, and 
returned, without experiencing the least return of his 
disease. Hundreds have since been relieved by me in 
Tennessee, of this disease, by this remedy of the bath, 
as just described— and in chronic cases, by the simple 
use of gum guaiacum as already mentioned. I shall 
now proceed to give the common remedies, as used by 
physicians in this complaint, many of which are valua- 
ble, and afford speedy and salutary relief. 

In all local affections, distinguished by stiffness, and 
want of power to move the joints without considerable 
pain, rub the part well with the liniment before men- 
tioned—or with opodeldoc— or whiskey, in which red 
pepper or mustard has been infused or soaked— and 
with these, or either of them, rub the joints or places 
affected with a brush, continuing the rubbing for some 
time, the longer the better; and use inwardly the gum 
guaiacum as before directed. The poke berry bounce, 
made by putting the ripe berries into whiskey, and 
using a wine glass full of it every day is of service. 
The scneca snake-root is also valuable in this disease, 
by boiling an ounce of it in a quart of water, over a 
slow fire or on coals ; stewing it down to a pint or less, 



214 UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and taking a table-spoonful of it occasionally through 
the day: you may increase the dose as the stomach 
will bear it. Fat light- wood, steeped in spirits, and 
taken in small quantities, is also serviceable. Tea 
made of sarsaparilla, and drank freely, is a good reme- 
dy; or take a large handful of rattle-snake root and 
bruise it well — put it into a quart of spirit and let it 
steep by the fire for several days; and of this take a 
wine glass full every morning. 

In the stage which I have lately described, which is 
chronic rheumatism, the patient is frequently, by hav- 
ing had the disease a long time, reduced to great 
weakness: if so, he should use some bitters to strength- 
en the system; such as dog- wood bark, wild-cherry 
tree bark, and poplar bark, in equal quantities in whis- 
key, or spirit of any kind — old if possible ; or if spirit 
disagrees, make a tea, and use it three times a day — a 
wine glass full ; or cold camomile tea same quantity ; 
or take eight or ten drops of elixir vitriol, in a wine or 
stem glass of cold water, three times a day. In this 
state of the system, horse-radish and mustard will be 
proper to use with your food. Your diet should be as 
usual — no change is necessary in chronic rheumatism. 
Exercise is important, if the patient can possibly have it 
— and flannel should be worn next to the skin. The 
warm salt bath, as described under sea or salt bath, 
will be of great utility in this state of the disease; or 
you may use it by pouring over the body three times a 
day, strong salt and water, made milk-warm. If the 
above remedies should not relieve, after a proper and 
patient trial of them, recourse must be had to the 
French remedy, called Sulphureous Fumigation 
For instructions look under that head. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 215 

INDIGESTION, OR DYSPEPSIA. 

This common and most afflicting disease, so much 
disturbs and deranges our moral and physical nature, 
that it is difficult to determine which suffers most from 
its attacks, the mind or the body. From the variety of 
shapes which this complaint assumes, it is very difficult 
to describe it in a plain and comprehensive manner; in 
fact, it is so frequently associated in close connexion 
with other diseases to which it bears a strong resem- 
blance, particularly those of the liver and bowels, that 
in many cases it deceives the most experienced and 
intelligent physicians. This complaint, like the gout, 
may be said to be no respecter of persons: from the 
prince to the beggar, you can see misery inflicted, with- 
out discrimination of persons or ranks, by this demon 
of human suffering, indigestion — under whose influ- 
ence the body is tortured for years, and the mind con- 
tinually wrecked in a troubled sea of the most unhappy 
and melancholy feelings. 

This disease originates in a great variety of causes; 
among which it is often found associated with a dis- 
eased state of the liver. Persons who have used 
spirits of any kind to excess, or stimulants of any 
description, such as spices or highly-seasoned food, 
and those also who have used tobacco to great excess, 
by which the coats and functions of the stomach have 
been impaired and debilitated^ are liable to indigestion. 
A costive habit, acquired by permitting the bowels to 
remain too long without evacuation, will bring on this 
formidable malady ; and persons who arc long confined 
to any stationary, or sedentary business, without taking 
the necessary exercise, are generally submitted to this 
disease called Indigestion. When the complaint is 
firmly seated in the stomach, it is marked by eructa- 



216 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

tions or belchings of wind ; gnawing and disagreeble 
sensations at the pit of the stomach ; risings of sour 
and bitter acid into the throat, occasioned by the food 
not being properly digested ; great irregularity of appe- 
tite, which is sometimes voracious and at other times 
greatly deficient; and a sinking and oppressive debility 
or weakness of the stomach. In addition to these 
symptoms of indigestion, on gratifying the appetite at 
any time, the stomach in a short time afterwards be- 
comes oppressed with sensations of weight and full- 
ness; the head becomes confused ; the sleep very much 
disturbed; the bowels very irregular and costive; the 
urine high colored; and the poor victim commences 
taking medicines for relief, and brooding in dejected 
silence over thousands of unhappy retrospections of 
past life, and countless melancholy anticipations of the 
future, in which death in all its attendant and imagina- 
ry horrors, stands conspicuous and appalling. Nor 
are these the only miserable indications of indigestion; 
I have known many persons whose tempers and dis- 
positions have been materially affected by indigestion; 
so much so indeed, that they were incapable of describ- 
ing their own sensations; and who when ridiculed by 
their friends, in merely pleasant raillery, as hypochon- 
driacs, have wished their sufferings were ended by a 
close of their existence! 

If the liver is connected with this disease called 
indigestion, a dead and heavy pain will be felt in the 
right side: the water deposited in the urinal or pot, 
will have, on cooling and settling, a brick-dust colored 
sediment, which if permitted to remain any length of 
time will adhere in rings of a reddish hue to the inner 
sides of the urinal ; a pain will be felt in the top of the 
shoulder and back of the neck; the feet and hands will 



CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 217 

frequently get asleep, from want of regular and ener- 
getic circulation; the complexion will become of a 
yellowish hue or tinge; great and general uneasiness 
of the whole system will be felt; and sometimes, when 
the liver is greatly diseased, occasional puking will 
come on — in which last case, a diseased state of the 
liver being evident, I must refer the reader to that 
head. 

REMEDIES. 

In the removal or cure of this disease, great reliance 
is always to be placed in the systematic regulation of 
your diet, as to the times of taking food — the quantity 
of that food — and the qualities to be taken ; and any 
person laboring under indigestion will soon discover, 
that regularity and temperance, in fact abstemiousness 
in eating and drinking, will be productive of as many 
benefits to the sufferer, as want of system and intem- 
perance will be of serious injuries, and dangerous 
consequences. I am decidedly of opinion, with regard 
to dyspepsia, that by withdrawing the causes of irrita- 
tion from the stomach, and applying such remedies as 
will have the effect of lessening irritability of the gen- 
eral system, unless the patient be entirely too much 
exhausted, nature would effect a cure without the aid 
of that farrago of medicines generally swallowed in 
this complaint: and I wish it here to be distinctly 
understood, that unless those who are tortured with 
indigestion absolutely relinquish all excesses of the 
table and the bottle, no cure can be hoped for or 
expected. 

Doct. James Johnson, of the Royal College of 
Physicians, has correctly and elegantly described the 
remedies for indigestion, in nearly the following lan- 
guage: There is a great error committed almost every 

28 



218 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

day in this disease, which is, by flying to medicines at 
once, whenever the functions of the stomach and liver 
appear to be disordered, and the food imperfectly 
digested. Instead of taking purgative medicines day 
after day, we should lessen and simplify the food, in 
order to prevent the formation of such things in the 
body, as will assist to produce and increase the disease ; 
but in attempting to induce a patient to adopt this rule, 
I am aware that great prejudices are to be overcome. 
The patient feels himself getting weaker and thinner; 
and he flies immediately to nourishing food, and tonics 
and strengthening medicines for a cure ; but he will 
generally be disappointed in the end by this plan. 
From four ounces of gruel every six hours, under 
any state of indigestion, he will derive more nutri- 
ment and real strength, than from half a pound of 
animal food, and a pint of the best wine. Whenever 
he feels any additional uneasiness or discomfort, in 
mind or body, after eating, the patient has erred in 
the quantity or quality of his food, however restricted 
the one or select the other. If the food and drink 
irritate the nerves of the stomach, they must be redu- 
ced and simplified down even to the gruel diet above 
alluded to. I have known the dyspeptic patients gain 
flesh and strength, on half a pint of good gruel, taken 
three times in twenty-four hours, and gradually bring 
the stomach step by step, up to the point of digesting 
plain animal food. On a biscuit and a glass of water, 
I have known persons who were afflicted with this 
disease to dine for months in succession; and on this 
small portion of food, to obtain a degree of strength, 
and a serenity of mind, beyond their most sanguine 
hopes. You will perceive, that in all the different 
forms of indigestion, diet is the first thing, and the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 219 

principal cure in this disease ; and rely upon it, for I 
assert it from sad experience in my own person, that it 
is absolutely vain to expect a cure, unless you have 
courage and perseverance to reap the fruits of such a 
system as I have laid down to you in diet, and not to 
change it, however strongly you may be tempted by 
the luxuries of the table, and^thc seductions of convi- 
vial society; and when you have escaped the miseries 
of this worst of human affliction, you must be extreme- 
ly careful how you deviate from the right diet which 
has restored you to health ; for no disease is so liable 
to relapse as indigestion. An unrestrained indulgence 
in a variety of dishes, or in vegetable and fruit, or a 
debauch in drinking, will be certain of making the 
poor dyspeptic patient pay dearly, in suffering and 
wretchedness of feelings, for his straying from the cor- 
rect path of temperance and propriety. The least 
over-exertion of the stomach, caused by its being over- 
loaded or too highly stimulated, will be certain to cause 
you to be on the stool of repentance for some time 
afterwards. As soon as you have the least reason for 
supposing that you are laboring under indigestion, 
commence first with an active purgative consisting of 
ten grains of calomel, ten of rhubarb in fine powder, 
and ten of aloes likewise finely powdered. These 
three articles are to be mixed well together, and made 
into pills, with honey or syrup. After this purgative 
medicine, which is intended to clear the stomach and 
bowels of all their unhealthy and injurious contents, 
which always when present keep up a constant irrita- 
tion in the stomach and intestines, no more very active 
purges are to be given — because the frequent and 
almost constant employment of active purges, always 
do more harm than good, by unnecessarily weakening 



220 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the system : one satisfactory evacuation by stool in the 
course of the day is quite sufficient ; and by more than 
this the stomach and bowels are teased, thereby produ- 
cing debility — the real parent of morbid irritation. 
When this state of body is avoided, and the stomach 
and bowels at the same time kept sufficiently easy and 
clear, and the temperate abstemiousness I have advis- 
ed strictly followed, the poor sufferer under indigestion 
may confidently expect an extinguishment of the 
flames of his torture. 

A little rhubarb root chewed at night — or the follow- 
ing simple pill will be of service. Take of rhubarb in 
powder half a drachm, of Castile soap one drachm, 
and of ipecacuanha in powder half a drachm — mix 
them well together in honey or any syrup, to which 
add a little powdered ginger to make the mixture 
pleasant to the stomach ; make it into thirty pills, one 
of which you must take every morning, noon, and at 
night; this will give a tone to the stomach and bowels, 
but as an alterative ; and keep them gently open — this 
is an innocent and most useful pill, and will afford great 
relief, with proper exercise and diet. A tea-spoonful 
or a table-spoonful of common charcoal, pounded very 
fine and taken three times a day in a tumbler of cold 
water, is an excellent remedy in this complaint. This 
article is made in a proper manner, by taking a lump 
of common charcoal made of any kind of wood, and 
burning it over again in an iron ladle or skillet, to a 
red heat: then suffering it to cool — and pounding it as 
before directed. This coal powder ought to be imme- 
diately put into a bottle and corked tightly, in order to 
exclude the action of the air on it — and whenever any 
of it is used as before mentioned, the cork ought im- 
mediately to be returned to the bottle. The quantity 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 221 

of the charcoal used, must be regulated so as to pro- 
duce moderate operation by stool. I have known 
hundreds relieved by this simple and innocent remedy, 
when the diet has been properly attended to, after many 
other remedies had been tried in vain. Physicians 
call this pounded charcoal, carbo ligni, in their learn- 
ed prescriptions; which I have often found very pow- 
erful in relieving diseases of the liver, when other 
remedies had totally failed. Epsom salts and magne- 
sia, in equal quantities, ground fine in a mortar, and 
given in doses of a tea-spoonful in a glass of cold 
water, every morning on an empty stomach, is also a 
fine remedy in dyspepsia or indigestion — and if neces- 
sary at any time to have the bowels gently opened, will 
always be found beneficial and effective. 

When the stomach and bowels have been kept free 
from irritation for any length of time, by the mild 
treatment I have laid down ; when the tongue becomes 
clean ; when the sleep becomes more refreshing ; and 
when the mind becomes tranquil, the spirits something 
animated, and the head clear, fresh beef made into a 
weak soup, may be ventured on, with a little well- 
boiled chicken ; by this diet you may gradually try the 
powers of the stomach, and know by your feelings how 
much they will bear without injury. If it produce 
uneasy feelings, such as before described, to either the 
mind or body — or to both — within the day or night of 
this trial of animal food, it should be lessened in 
quantity. If that will not do, you must entirely relin- 
quish it, and resume the old diet of gruel. When 
animal food can be taken, without producing any pain 
and uneasiness, you may gradually increase it according 
to your feelings. Begin with one ounce of animal 
food, and gradually increase the quantity, but with 



222 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

great caution. After a while you may venture on sim- 
ple food, so that by degrees your stomach may acquire 
some strength and firmness, which it will now do be- 
yond your most sanguine expectations ; but you must 
always remember, to eat just such a quantity as will 
produce no uneasiness or languor after eating; no 
unhappy feelings of body or mind during digestion. 
It is quite unnecessary for me to enumerate all the 
kinds of food which it will be improper for you to eat; I 
have already explained to you, that the most simple 
food is the best. Milk and rye-mush is an excellent 
dish in this complaint ; and I have known many persons, 
who, by using it six months together, without any ani- 
mal food, have been entirely and permanently cured. 
No hot bread is to be used at all; stale bread and 
biscuit, the older the better, but without any butter, are 
very good in this complaint. How often have I been 
asked by my dyspeptic patients this question: Is it 
impossible to cure indigestion without resorting to low 
and very abstemious diet? I have always said it is im- 
possible — and I now repeat it, for the ten thousandth 
time; and those who think otherwise will find, if they 
act up to their opinions, that after spending their money, 
and making apothecary shops of their bodies, that all 
the medical remedies in the world, without very tem- 
perate and abstemious living, are not worth one cent! 
Always have patience: there must be time for every 
thing, and particularly for the cure of indigestion. — 
Reflect on the length of time, and the great variety of 
causes which produce this disease, and you will soon 
see that it cannot be cured in a few hours, or in a few 
days. The stomach, like a weary traveller worn down 
by fatigue, requires rest, tranquility, and cooling diet, 
to allay the feverish state of the system, produced by 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 223 

high and long-continued excitement, and perhaps by 
terrible excesses! 

Cold water is the only proper drink ; and to persons 
who have been accustomed to the use of spirituous 
liquors, some gentle bitter may be taken, but in very 
small quantities. But in respect to drink I am perfectly 
convinced that water alone is the best drink for persons 
afflicted with this disease of the stomach. After a com- 
plete change has taken place in the system, by a low, 
regular, and very abstemious diet for some months — 
the patient will find, if it will agree with his stomach, 
which his feelings will soon tell him, immense benefit 
from taking a mixture, compounded of equal quantities 
of the root of the poplar, the bark of the wild cherry 
tree, and the bark from the root of the dog-wood, with 
a small portion of black snake-root, made into bitters 
with old whiskey or very old rum. This bitters must 
stand four or five days before being taken; and then 
given in small doses, diluted with water; three times in 
each day — but if it occasions any unpleasantness of 
feeling or sensation, in the stomach or head, it must be 
immediately discontinued. Tonics, or strengthening 
medicines, are never to be given in the fever stages of 
indigestion, or while the slightest irritation exists, or the 
consequence will probably be, an inflammation which 
will terminate fatally. 

The warm or tepid bath should be frequently used in 
this complaint, taking particular care to rub over the 
stomach well with a brush in the bath, and a coarse 
towel immediately on leaving it. For bathing, and the 
manner of preparing the warm or tepid bath, look under 
the head warm bath. Injections or clysters of simple 
milk and water, luke-warm, or of warm water with a 
table spoonful of hog's lard mixed with it, thrown up 



224 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

into the bowels, occasionally, will be of much service 
in this disease: because they will remove any irritable 
matter which may remain in the lower intestines, thereby 
lessening one of the greatest enemies you have to con- 
tend with, which is morbid irritability. For clysters 
— look under that head. Clysters, constantly used with 
the warm bath, will obviate or do away the necessity of 
taking medicines by the stomach, and very much expe- 
dite the cure of the afflicted sufferer. In this disease,- 
the acid or sour belch ings maybe corrected or removed, 
by the simple use of magnesia or chalk: a tea-spoonful 
of either of which articles, may be taken in a wine of 
stem-glass of cold water. The charcoal, prepared as I 
have before mentioned, is also well adapted to remo- 
ving this unpleasant and irritable state of the stomach 
arising from acid. I have now given a faithful, plain, 
and full description of this tedious and most afflicting 
malady, called dyspepsia or indigestion — together with 
an account of the most approved remedies for its remo- 
val. 



CONSUMPTION. 

Consumption spreads its ravages in the haunts of 
gaiety, fashion, and folly — but in the more humble walks 
of life where the busy hum of laborious industry is 
heard, it is seldom known. In the last stage of this 
dismal waste of life, although there are many means of 
alleviating, in some degree, its miseries, there is neither 
remedy nor cure for this disease — and yet so flattering 
is consumption, even when very far advanced, that the 
unfortunate victim frequently anticipates a speedy recov 7 
ery, and is preparing for some distant journey for the 



GILNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 225 

renovation of health, when in a few days, perhaps a few 
hours, his wearied feet must pass the peaceful thresh- 
hold of the tomb, and his body sink to everlasting rest 
Thousands are yearly falling in the spring-time of life 
by the untimely stroke of this most fatal of diseases, 
and although medical men have for ages been endeav- 
oring to put a stop to its ravages, I assert it without 
fear of contradiction, that in the last stage of consump- 
tion, there is no remedy within the whole circle of 
medical science, that will cure the disease, but I have 
no doubt the period will arrive, when this formidable 
enemy of the human species, will be subdued by some 
common and simple plant, belonging to the vegetable 
kingdom, which is at this period totally unknown ; for 
I have always been impressed with a decided belief, 
that our wise and beneficent Creator has placed within 
the reach of his feeble creature man, herbs and plants 
for the cure of all diseases but old age, could we but 
obtain a knowledge of their real uses and intrinsic 
virtues. I wish it to be distinctly understood, with 
respect to what I have said of this disease, that I mean 
Consumption alone, and entirely unconnected with any 
other complaint. The cure of consumption should 
always be attempted in its forming state, before it pro- 
duces active symptoms of cough, or matter from the 
lungs, or inflammatory or hectic fever. I have often 
seen this fatal complaint cured by attention to it, in the 
first symptoms, but how often are they permitted to 
steal gradually on, creating no alarm or uneasiness, 
mistaking it for a simple cold, until it makes consider- 
able progress, and the complaint becomes permanently 
seated in the system. Consumption can easily be 
distinguished from any other disease by the following 
symptoms — the patient complains of weakness on the 

•29 



226 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

least bodily exertion, the breathing is hurried, oppressed 
on ascending any steep place, the pulse small, and 
quicker than natural, a feeling of tightness as if a cord 
was drawn across the chest; slight, short, dry cough, 
becoming more troublesome at night; a spitting of 
white frothy spittle termed by physicians mucus. As 
this disease advances, the spitting becomes more copi- 
ous and frequent, and sometimes streaked with blood, 
of a tough, opaque or dark substance, solid and of a 
yellow or green color, having an unpleasant or fetid 
smell when thrown on burning coals, or if this matter 
is put into pure water it sinks to the bottom of the 
vessel, by this simple test, you can easily distinguish it 
from mucus which has no smell, and separates into 
small flakes, and floats upon the surface of the water 
— thereby enabling you to judge as to the progress or 
formation of this complaint, 

Consumption is considerably advanced when the 
following symptoms occur: a pain in the chest, and in 
the side, which is increased by exerting the voice by 
long or loud talking; pulse is quick and hard, gener- 
ally from one hundred to one hundred and fifteen 
strokes in a minute; the urine or water is highly color- 
ed, and deposits in the urinal or pot a muddy sediment ; 
the palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet have 
a dryness and burning sensation; the cheek, and fre- 
quently both cheeks, have a flush or reddish hue, 
exhibiting itself about the middle of the day. This 
flush lasts for one or two hours when a remission takes 
place until the evening, when the feverish symptoms 
again return, accompanied frequently by a shivering or 
cold sensation, continuing until after midnight, then 
terminating in a profuse perspiration or sweat occasion- 
ing great prostration or weakness. In the last stage of 



GUXN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 227 

Consumption, the whole countenance assumes a ghast- 
ly cadaverous look, the white part of the eyes have a 
pearly and unnatural appearance, while the eye itself 
beams with sparkling animation and lustre; the cheek 
bones are prominent, the mouth and throat resembles 
or looks like that of a child having the thrush; the 
legs swell, the nails are of a livid or purple color; 
frequent purging, ending in profuse sweating, cough 
hollow, difficulty of respiration or breathing, and the 
patient has a restless and disturbed slumber; during 
sleep a curious noise is made from the throat, like 
suffocation, occasioned by the collection of matter or 
pus, in the throat and mouth ; when these last symp- 
toms make their appearance, the period is fast 
approaching, when the unhappy sufferer will lay his 
weary and aching head in the calm and peaceful man- 
sions of the dead. The alarming increase of Con- 
sumption in the United States, affords an ample field 
for medical research ; the bills of mortality taken in 
the various cities show the immense number who die 
in the flower of life, by this merciless disease. In 
three years the number of deaths in the British me- 
tropolis, is stated to be fifty-two thousand, two hundred 
and thirty-seven; and among these, were, under the 
general head of consumptions, seventeen thousand, five 
hundred and fifty-nine — making the number of deaths 
annually in London, by Consumption, three thousand. 

The rapid progress made in our country by this fatal 
complaint, is sufficient to serve as a warning to every 
parent, and head of a family, in order to avoid those 
causes, which, sooner or later, end in this unmanagea- 
ble disease. The causes which produce Consumption 
are, exposure to cold and damp air, using tobacco to 
excess, either by smoking, chewing, or by using it in 



328 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

snuff to clean the teeth, acting as a powerful stimulant, 
thereby producing irritation; the use of spirituons 
liquors to excess; obstructions and inflammations of 
the lungs ; the suppression of natural discharges, par- 
ticularly the menstrual discharge or courses; scrofula, 
diseases of the liver and stomach, and unfortunately, 
receiving a hereditary disposition or taint to this disease 
from father or mother. The narrow chest and high 
shoulders, weakness of the voice, whiteness of the 
teeth, fairness of complexion, and light hair, have all 
been observed to accompany a predisposition to con- 
sumption. Much reliance, however cannot be placed 
upon these signs, except where a number of them con- 
cur in the same person. While the empire of fashion 
bears so arbitrary a sway, and the followers of pleasure 
are bound by the fascination of example, and the con- 
tagious influence of that spirit, which insinuates itself 
into the bosom of each and every one of its votaries, 
so long will the sage precepts of wisdom be unheeded 
till the emaciated form, the glassy eye, and hectic blush, 
speak in language too strong for utterance, that the 
disease is established and the yawning grave stands 
ready to receive its devoted victim. I hardly know an 
object of more tender concern to the anxious parent, 
or the medical adviser, than a young and beautiful 
female in the pride and spring of youth, and strength 
of intellect, borne down by the invasion of a malady, 
which has so often selected for its sacrifices the most 
amiable and interesting beings of God's creation. 
And when, moreover, all this can be traced to one 
single act of imprudence, one offering on the altar of 
fashion, who can forbear to utter a sigh, when they 
behold a lovely woman, laced to such a degree as to 
impede respiration or breathing. As well might the 



gunnjS domestic medicine. 229 

hardy Russian or Laplander, amongst his snows pre- 
tend to brave the severities of his icy climate in the 
flowing robes of tropical indolence, as a female to 
indulge in the Grecian costume or dress, under the 
influence of such a change as we experience during 
the winter and spring months. This predisposing de- 
bility for Consumption runs in families, and may be 
traced from generation to generation — moving on the 
leaden pinions of unshaken time, without a remedy to 
arrest its course. 

REMEDIES. 
The cure for this formidable complaint is to be. 
attempted by a removal to a warm climate at an early 
stage of the disease, and to attend to the preservation 
of an equal temperature in the atmosphere which the 
patient breathes, a sudden or frequent alteration of heat 
and cold is fatal to an irritable consumptive system. 
If possible consumptive persons should remove to a 
warm climate the moment a predisposition is discover- 
ed; a change to a warm or temperate atmosphere 
during the winter months, may be the means of re- 
moving the predisposing cause to this complaint ; it is 
however, to be regretted that this change is often de- 
layed until a late period of the disease when the strength 
is so much exhausted that sufferers cannot take suffi- 
cient exercise to assist the climate in restoring health, 
it is then too late, and the unfortunate victim of this 
complaint had better remain at home, for by leaving it, 
he is deprived of the attention and society of his 
friends, and exposed to much unnecessary fatigue and 
anxiety of mind. If the disease is so far advanced as 
to prevent the patient from going out of doors in the 
winter months, his chamber or room should be kept 
warm at an even temperature by a stove; the unplcas- 



230 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ant smell which frequently arises from a stove in a close 
room may be removed by burning tar upon it, this fumi- 
gation or vapour, constantly inhaled or breathed, is 
considered by physicians as a valuable remedy in con- 
sumption; the usual method of inhaling the vapour or 
steam, is by putting a small quantity of tar into a coffee- 
pot or earthen vessel, which is to be heated and the 
fumes inhaled from the stem of the vessel. This sim- 
ple but valuable remedy, allays the violence of the 
cough, and produces a free and copious discharge of 
mucus or matter; inhaling of the vapor arising from 
warm water with a little vinegar added to it, several 
times during the course of the day, will assist in promo- 
ting the discharge and tranquilize the cough. These 
valuable but simple remedies should not be omitted in 
this complaint. 

Bleak winds, night air, and exposure of every kind 
must be strictly avoided, the body should be well defend- 
ed by wearing flannel next the skin, also the feet properly 
secured from the damp; frictions, or in other words, 
rubbing the whole body with a brush or coarse towel 
from fifteen to twenty minutes in the morning, and at 
night, will be of great service in this disease, the friction 
to be continued twice a day as long as the complaint 
lasts. As nothing tends more to aggravate the symp- 
toms of a Consumption, at an early stage of it, than a 
desponding mind, brooding over real or imaginary 
calamities, every thing should be done to cheer the spir- 
its, such as cheerful society, music, &c. &c. Be careful 
to regulate the bowels, if possible by diet, and by friction 
(as before described,) but if recourse must be had to 
medicine, let it always be mild, and in no larger doses 
than are necessary to discharge or move the bowels; for 
this purpose clysters of simple milk and water thrown 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 231 

up the bowels, or warm water with a tea-spoonful of 
hog's lard will be proper: — for clystering and the method 
of administering them look under that head. Rhubarb 
root chewed in small quantities at night will produce a 
motion, epsom salts and magnesia mixed and ground 
fine in a mortar, dose a tea-spoonful in half a pint of 
cold water— or a table spoonful of common charcoal 
pounded very fine in the same quantity of water — for 
the method of making and preserving this innocent but 
valuable medicine, read indigestion. The Consumptive 
patient should daily take as much exercise as his 
strength will admit of, except when the weather is unfa- 
vorable. The best exercise will be riding on horseback, 
but if this produces fatigue, substitute the use of some 
kind of carriage, or a swing, so constructed as to admit 
a chair in it, for the patient to recline or rest when fati- 
gued. In my practice I have used a large basket of a 
sufficient size to admit a small bed to be placed in it; 
the patient can lay at full length, and receive the advan- 
tages to be derived from the swing, without experiencing 
any fatigue. This basket is about six feet in length and 
two feet in width, having six handles by which it is sus- 
pended to the ceiling, with ropes, or in any convenient 
place, free from damp or moist atmosphere. In what- 
ever way exercise is taken, the greatest care must be 
observed to guard against cold in any manner whatever, 
for this important reason, tubercles or ulcers of the 
lungs are formed in winter in cold climates, and their 
progress to suppuration kept back in the summer, and 
this is the cause why I urge your removal to a warm 
climate at an early period of this disease, for when 
tubercles or ulcers become permanently seated in the 
lungs, the case maybe considered incurable; but palli- 
ative remedies may be given with proper diet, and 



232 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

change of climate, as to prolong the life of the unfortu-' 
nate victim of the disease. I shall explain for the 
satisfaction of my reader what is meant by the lungs, 
and their structure. In anatomy it denotes the viscera 
or lobes in the cavity of the breast by which we breathe; 
they are connected with the neck, and situated on the 
right and left side of the heart ; being furnished with 
innumerable cells which are formed by the descent of 
the wind-pipe into the lungs, those bronchial tubes com- 
municate with each other; and the whole appears not 
unlike a honey-comb. The most important use of the 
lungs is that of respiration or breathing, by which the 
circulation of the blood is supposed to be effected ; the 
evacuation of the faeces or excrement, and urine, greatly 
depends on the constant action of the lungs, but like- 
wise the sense of smelling is enjoyed by inhaling the 
air; and it is chiefly by the organic structure of these 
vessels, that mankind are enabled to speak ; — lastly, they 
perform the office of excretion, and expel those useless 
matters, which, if retained in the system, would be 
productive of fatal consequences. The treatment of 
Consumptive persons must be regulated according to the 
manner in which the disease shows itself; an energetic 
course of practice by the physician in the first stage or 
symptoms of this disease may be the means of saving' 
the life of his patient, or in other words preventing con- 1 
firmed consumption. If there is a pain in the side, or 
breast, accompanied by cough with fever, the patient 
should be bled immediately ; the quantity of blood taken 
must be regulated by the constitution, strength and hab- 
its of the person. Bleeding should be continued every 
third day, if the inflammatory symptoms continue to 
exist, regulating the quantity of blood by the strength, 
and feverish state of the patient. I have generally 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 233 

found in my practice, that after bleeding moderately the 
symptoms considerably abated, the fever diminished, less 
pain in the breast or side, cough relieved and the respi- 
ration or breathing much improved ; after the inflamma- 
tory action is subdued, apply a blister over the breast 
and side, if necessary from pain; this blister is to be 
kept discharging or running, and should it heal, put on 
another; the object being to continue a drain or run- 
ning as much as possible — similar to a seton or rowel— ^- 
as you value the life of your patient, enforce a rigid and 
low diet, of the most simple nature, for hundreds die 
from imprudence in this respect who might be relieved 
if they could but have courage and firmness to live on 
gruel and milk and avoid altogether animal or stimula- 
ting food. I have had an opportunity of testing the 
effects of low diet in Consumption, and I feel fully satis- 
fied that it is highly essential in the cure of this disease. 
In the early stage of this alarming complaint give an 
emetic, or puke, of ipecacuanha — see table for dose; 
and repeat this emetic once or twice a week as the 
obstruction or case may require ; this is to be continued 
through the disease, and much benefit will result from 
it, for I rely very much on emetics in my practice in 
Consumption; for the purpose of moderating the irrita- 
tion of the system and allaying cough and fever, give 
small doses of tartar emetic of half a grain dissolved 
in a small quantity of flaxseed tea, balm or sage tea, 
slippery elm tea, marsh mallow tea, any of which may 
be used ; the tartar emetic must be gradually increased, 
and given at intervals until the irritation subsides; if 
the tartar emetic affects the stomach or bowels, add a 
few drops of laudanum to each dose. By a little caution 

the emetic tartar may be gradually increased with much 

30 



234 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

benefit to the patient by lessening the fever, allaying the 
cough, and producing expectoration, or in other words, 
a free discharge from the breast ; as an active and valu- 
able expectorant, much benefit will be derived from the 
Indian turnip. This valuable plant is very common in 
the Western States, grows in meadows and swamps, 
six or eight inches high, purple leaves three in number, 
roundish berries, of a light scarlet colour; the root of 
this plant boiled in milk is a valuable remedy; or take 
of the peeled root one pound, and three pounds of loaf 
sugar, pound them well together in a mortar so as to 
make a fine powder, and take a tea-spoonful twice or 
thrice a day as the case may require; Gum Arabic, or 
peach tree gum will answer, held in the mouth to allay 
the cough. Cooling medicines through the whole course 
of the complaint will be proper, particularly nitre, equal 
quantities of epsom salts and magnesia mixed, pounded 
fine in a mortar, doses of a tea-spoonful to be given in 
half a pint of cold water will cool the system and keep 
the bowels in a laxative state; the dose to be increased 
if neceesary to act on the bowels. In the advanced 
stage of this disease the patient is usually much weak- 
ened by night sweats; this should be checked by 
administering the following pills: copperas — called by 
physicians, sulphate of iron, — one grain, rhubarb one 
grain, gum myrrh two grains, oil of cloves one drop; 
these pills should be repeated three or four times a day; 
and ten or fifteen drops of sulphuric acid, or the same 
quantity of elixir vitriol, taken every two or three hours 
in a cup of flaxseed tea, when the febrile symptoms are 
severe. Pills composed of sulphate of copper, one 
grain, ipecacuanha one grain, made into a pill, and 
repeated every three hours, is a valuable remedy; infu- 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



235 



sion of wild cherry-tree bark, made with cold water, 
tar water, and cold camomile tea, are all good strength- 
ening remedies in this stage of the complaint. 

A purging attends this disease which is very exhaust- 
in", ending in profuse sweating, as before mentioned, for 
as soon as the one is stopped the other too frequently 
comes on, producing thereby an extreme degree of 
weakness. When this takes place, use opium united 
with a small quantity of ipecacuanha or sugar of lead, 
if the disease is severe:— see table for doses. An infu- 
sion of galls, or tormentil root, with cinnamon and 
gum Arabic, will check the purging. About this stage 
of the disease the mouth and throat are filled with 
sores, similar to the thrush; here astringent gargles of 
sage tea, a little borax and honey, to wash the mouth 
and throat, will be proper, aided by tonic and astrin- 
gent medicines, are the only hope of giving relief in 
this last stage of Consumption. My practice is, to give 
opium to a considerable extent; increasing or decreas- 
ing it, as the situation of the case may require. By 
this valuable medicine, we have it in our power to 
protract the period of life, and to lessen the distress of 
the patient. The inexpressible delight produced by 
opium, when the poor sufferer is prostrated, can scarce- 
ly be described. It always soothes the irritations of 
the cough, and mitigates all those symptoms which 
cannot be removed. The influence it exercises over 
the mind and imagination of the patient no human 
language can describe. In some constitutions, opium 
disagrees with the patient, and produces restless and 
irritable feelings. When this is the case, recourse 
must be had to other sedatives or soothing remedies; 
for instance, to garden lettuce; which is fully equal to 
opium in producing a mitigation of pain, and in allay- 



236 <3UNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ing inordinate action. For the manner of preparing 
this valuable remedy which every one is in possession 
of, see the head Garden Lettuce. 

Iceland moss, has also, for some time past in Europe, 
been resorted to as a valuable palliative in Consump- 
tion ; and more recently in the United States, it has 
acquired considerable reputation in this disease. But 
like all other boasted remedies, the powers of this 
herb have been most probably overrated. It, how- 
ever, not unfrequently proves highly beneficial, by 
strengthening the patient, diminishing the hectic symp- 
toms, and allaying the cough. It has another impor- 
tant advantage. It strengthens the digestive powers, 
without producing a constipation or costiveness of the 
bowels. This medicine is quite innocent: the Laplan- 
ders use it in various ways, and among others as food. 
When employed as an article of diet, they bruise this 
moss, and steep it in several successive waters: by 
which means they extract its bitter qualities, and it 
then affords them a highly grateful food, of a soft and 
glutinous consistency, similar to jelly ; but the method 
of preparing it for consumptive persons is as follows. 
First wash it well in clean cold water ; then boil one 
ounce of the moss, with a quart of water, ov£r a slow 
fire — and while stewing, add of liquorice root, cut up 
very fine, two drachms, or about as much as the size of 
the middle finger. A teacup full of this medicine must 
be drank four times a day. Or — if the taste of this 
preparation is too disagreeable, you may boil a quarter 
of an ounce of the moss in a pint of milk for ten min- 
utes, and take the milk for breakfast and supper — 
always taking care, that the quantity be not disagreea- 
ble to the patient's stomach. For a description of this 
moss, and where it may be had, see Iceland moss. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 237 

Lichen or lungwort, which grows on the bark of the 
white oak tree, and which looks like a shell or skin, is 
said to possess the same medical qualities as the 
Iceland moss. It is called Lungwort, (I had almost 
forgotten to remark,) because of its strong resemblance 
in shape to the human lung. A tea made of a handful 
of the lungwort to a quart of boiling water, and used 
as a common drink, is not only a good palliative in 
Consumption, but when made into a syrup with honey, 
is very beneficial in hooping cough. 

Doctor Hereford of Virginia, a gentleman of distin- 
guished reputation as a physician, has made some 
interesting communications in the newspapers, relative 
to a plant called Liverwort, which he presumed to be 
effectual in the cure of Consumption. For a descrip- 
tion of this plant, and the method of preparing it, look 
under the head Liverwort. 

The Doctor is certainly entitled to be considered the 
first who made use of it in the cure of Consumption ; 
and his communications on the subject will entitle him 
to the thanks of posterity — if for no other reason, than 
that it has been found an excellent palliative remedy in 
this dreadful disease. So high was at one period the 
excitement of the public feeling, respecting the virtues of 
this little plant as a certain cure for Consumption, and 
so great was the demand for it, that it was frequently 
sold at Nashville for the enormous price of five dollars 
an ounce. After some time, it sunk greatly in price in 
this country, being discovered to be very plentiful in the 
mountains of Tennessee. Like ail other boasted reme- 
dies, which have been called specific cures in Con- 
sumption, the Liverwort is only considered a good 
palliative — a mere alleviator of the miseries of the 
disease. 



238 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

DISEASES OF THE LIVER. 

The liver is much more frequently the seat of dis- 
ease, than is generally supposed, even by many physi- 
cians of reputation and experience. The functions it 
is destined to perform, and on the regular execution 
of which depends not only the general health of the 
body, but the powers of the stomach, bowels, brain, 
and whole nervous system, show its vast and vital im- 
portance to human health. When the liver is seriously 
diseased, it in fact not only deranges the vital functions 
of the body, but exercises a powerful influence over 
the mind and its operations, which cannot easily be 
described. It has so close a connexion with other 
diseases ; and manifests itself by so great a variety of 
symptoms of a most doubtful character — that it mis- 
leads, I am well persuaded, more physicians even of 
great eminence, than any other vital organ. The inti- 
mate connexion which exists between the liver and the 
brain; and the great dominion which I am persuaded 
it exercises over the passions of mankind, convince 
me, and has long since done so, that many .unfortunate 
beings have committed acts of deep and criminal atro- 
city, or become what fools term hypochondriacs, from 
the simple fact of a diseased state of the liver. I am 
well aware, that the remark just made, in allusion to 
the crimes of mankind, will by many be considered 
new and daring: to these men I answer, that my busi- 
ness is with truth, regardless of consequences. But to 
proceed with my subject: — I have long been convinced, 
and it may be added from experience, that more than 
one half of the complaints which occur in this country, 
are to be considered as having their seat in a diseased 
state of the liver. I will enumerate some of them. 
Indigestion — stoppage of the menses — disordered state 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 239 

of the bowels— affections of the head—lowness of 
spirits — irritable and vindictive feelings and passions, 
from trifling and inadequate causes, of which we 
afterwards feel ashamed— and last, though not least, 
more than three-fourths of the diseases enumerated 
under the head consumption have their seat in a dis- 
eased liver. I will ask you, reader of the particular 
description for whom I write, is not this a most fright- 
ful catalogue? But, I will add one more of these 
general indications of a diseased liver, before I speak 
of the symptoms of those particular diseases to which 
I at first intended to direct my attention. Under the 
head "intemperance," page 55 — I have spoken on that 
subject, in general and philosophic terms ; but, I neg- 
lected to mention under that particular head, that a 
diseased liver is frequently the cause of intemperance, 
and sometimes the effect of it; and I will now remark, 
that in either case, when the disease has arrived at a 
great height and strength, it is next to impossible to 
reform the drunkard, without absolutely operating on 
him for a disease of the liver, by medical remedies 
which will actually affect his physical system. I will 
also remark here, that many of those men who are 
called confirmed drunkards, are only men laboring 
under a disease of the liver, whose influence they can- 
not possibly resist by any moral power they possess, 
without the means I have just mentioned ; or medical 
aid— and this may be the reason why Doctor Rush 
once alleged, that drunkenness was a disease. 

How often do we see men, who in their moments of 
sobriety, confess to their friends and families their im- 
proper courses, with a full determination to refrain, and 
no doubt with every sincerity of heart, who, after 
refraining from liquor a certain time, become restless, 



240 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

fretful or irritable, and depressed in spirits ; now, I do 
know, that in hundreds of instances, the love of liquor 
is not the cause of their becoming again intemperate. 
You will hear those men attempt to describe the 
wretchedness of their feelings when they abstain from 
liquor; they cannot do it: Now reader, must not this 
be a disease, with which the mere love of liquor has 
nothing to do? 

There are two strongly marked forms of diseased 
liver, requiring entirely different courses of treatment 
to effect a cure: one is called acute, and the other 
chronic. The first is known by inflammatory symp- 
toms or fever, accompanied with slight chill, and very 
much resembles an attack of pleurisy, being character- 
ised by pain in the right side, which rises to the point 
of the shoulder. On pressing below the ribs on the 
right side, you will feel the pain more severe. There 
is sometimes a sharp, and sometimes a dull heavy pain 
about the collar-bone; you have painful and uneasy 
sensations on lying on the left side, difficult respiration 
or breathing, dry and hacking cough, sometimes a 
vomiting or puking of bilious matter, your bowels are 
costive, your urine or water of a deep saffron color, 
and the quantity made quite small, great thirst, tongue 
dry and covered with a white fur, hard and frequent 
pulse, from ninety to one hundred in a minute, and 
sometimes intermitting, skin hot and dry; and after 
several days continuance of the disease, the skin 
and whites of the eyes put on a yellow color. On a 
close examination of the blood drawn from the arm, 
you will find its appearance somewhat singular. Be- 
fore it begins to coagulate or congeal, and while the 
red part is settling to the bottom — and before the buffy 
or yellow coat is fully formed, it looks of a dull green 



GUJVIV'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 241 

color ; but, immediately after the full formation of the 
upper coat, it changes from a dull greenish hue to a 
yellow. 

In warm climates, the liver is more apt to be affected 
with inflammation, than any other part of the body ; 
this is owing to an increased secretion of bile, from the 
stimulus of heat, and several other causes. The liver 
is the largest, and most ponderous or heavy of the 
abdominal viscera or entrails. In adults, by which I 
mean grown persons, it weighs about three pounds — 
and serves to purify the blood, by secreting or taking 
from it the bile. Its situation is immediately under, and 
connected with the diaphragm, generally called the 
midriff; this is a muscle which divides the thorax or 
chest, from the abdomen or belly. When inflamma- 
tion of this organ takes place in hot climates, it is 
a highly dangerous disease; which, when spoken of by 
physicians, is called hepatitis. When physicians only 
mean general disease of the liver, they call it, in equal- 
ly general terms, hepatic derangement. The disease 
of the liver sometimes terminates in the formation of 
matter in an abscess, which has to be discharged, of 
which more notice will be taken in the proper place. 

Chronic: a term applied to diseases which are of 
long continuance, and most generally without fever. It 
is the opposite disease to the acute. When this stage 
exists, the complexion and countenance put on, or 
rather assume, a morbid or diseased appearance. You 
will experience, frequently, a giddiness or swimming 
of the head ; a general weakness, and dislike to motion 
or exercise ; frequent headache ; indigestion ; flatulency, 
or belching of wind from the stomach, with acid taste 
in the throat and mouth ; pains in the stomach ; your 
^kin and eves will be of a yellow color, similar to jaun- 

31 



242 GUNK'S D031ESTIC MEDICINE. 

dice; your urine will be high colored, depositing a red 
brick-dust colored sediment in the urinal or pot, and 
frequently your water will be mixed with a ropy mucus, 
and when left some time in the vessel, will form a pink 
streak round its inside; and your stools will be the 
color of clay. By attending to these evacuations, their 
color will be almost a certain characteristic or mark of 
this disease: observe, however, that when you chew 
rhubarb root, it will always give your stools this light- 
yellow color; you will experience a dull heavy pain in 
the region of the liver, extending to the point of the 
shoulder, and a great loss of appetite; your whole 
system will be oppressed with an unusual sense of 
fullness; on examination by pressure, there will be felt 
an enlargement and hardness of the liver ; and in some 
cases, there will be experienced great oppression of 
respiration or breathing. I must remark, that the 
symptoms which I have here described, as indicative of 
the chronic stage of this disease, will always depend 
very much on the length of time the disease has been 
making its ravages on the system, for it may be com- 
pared to the midnight assassin, who steals on your 
hours of rest and security, with noiseless foot — and 
deals you the deadly blow! The truth is, that chronic 
affection of the liver, is a far more common form of 
disease in the United States than the acute. A disease 
of the liver, of the acute form, is produced by all 
causes which excite inflammation or fever. The 
chronic form of this complaint, is generally produced 
in the United States, by the excessive and imprudent 
use of spirtuous liquors. A residence of any continu- 
ance in hot countries, or even in warm climates, where 
a free and unrestrained course of living is indulged, is 
almost] certain to produce the disease; intermittent 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 243 

fevers of long continuance, are also apt to produce a 
chronic stage of the liver; but I am compelled to say, 
if I must speak with candor, that I believe more than 
two-thirds of the whole number of liver complaints in 
the United States, may be traced to intemperance. 
REMEDIES. 
For an acute inflammation of the liver, you are to 
depend principally on the prompt and immediate use 
of the lancet, by bleeding the patient freely, according 
to his age, his strength, and the violence of his pains. 
After the bleeding, give an active purge of calomel and 
j a ]ap — see table for dose. If this does not diminish the 
pain, bleed again and give an active dose of calomel at 
night, and a dose of epsom salts in the morning. 
After the first copious bleeding, I have generally, by 
giving an active purge of calomel and jalap, succeeded 
in lessening the violence of the complaint; but, if it 
still continued severe, I pursued moderate and frequent 
bleedings, with doses of calomel at night, and Epsom 
salts in the morning, and decreased the bleeding gradu- 
ally until I stopped it. Apply, also, a large blister over 
the liver, which will assist in mitigating and lessening 
the pain in the side. Also, cup freely and daily over 
the liver; it will be of great benefit by drawing off the 
blood from the interior. For cupping, look under that 
head. Small doses of emetic tartar in this stage of the 
disease, given occasionally in balm or sage tea, from 
one to two grains, will determine to the surface, or in 
other words produce moisture of the skin, and thereby 
relieve the feverish symptoms. In this stage of the 
complaint particularly — and indeed through the whole 
course of the disease, the warm bath will be found one 
of the finest remedies. Indeed, too much reliance 
cannot well be placed on warm bathing, accompanied 



244 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

by friction — by which I mean, rubbing the body well 
with a brush, immediately after leaving the bath: the 
truth is, that this friction ought, by no means, to be 
omitted by the patient ; I can from experience vouch 
for its beneficial effects. 

After following the course of practice which I have 
here laid down, and the disease still continuing obsti- 
nate, which it frequently does when it has been of long 
standing, you must depend on mercury. When I 
speak of this medicine, do not be alarmed or frightened 
at its name; for, with the rules which I lay down, 
(read under the head Mercury,) it will be as easy to 
manage this medicine as a dose of Epsom salts: and 
the various injuries which result from this valuable 
medicine, for without it, it would be impossible to prac- 
tice medicine with any kind of success, arise from its 
abuse: in fact, the injuries sustained by its use are 
owing to a want of care, and administering it on every 
trifling occasion, when medicines not so active would 
answer a much better purpose. 

There are various preparations of mercury; but, at 
the head of this article for removing this disease, stands 
calomel — and thousands of empirics or quacks of 
the United States, who publish in every news-journal 
some long-named remedy to cure diseases without the 
use of mercury, are the very fellows who use it most 
in some disguised form: and indeed it becomes in this 
way truly dangerous; for the patient, regardless of 
weather or exposure, having no knowledge of what he 
is constantly using, destroys instead of benefits his 
health — or, in removing one disease, lays the founda- 
tion of another still worse in its consequences. This 
medicine is the only sure and positive remedy, that 
can be relied on for the removal of the diseases of the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC Ife&DlciaK. 



245 



liver, when permanently seated in that organ; and so 
powerful and necessary is it for the correction of its 
disorders, that it is called by a distinguished physician 
— the key of the liver. In administering this medi- 
cine, there are various ways of introducing it into the 
system, which must be done according to the stage of 
the disease, and the symptoms of the chronic form. If 
violent, active mercurial preparations must be used 
constantly, and steadily given. If the symptoms are 
gradual and not dangerous, the medicine must be in pro- 
portion to the state of this disease, and of a milder 
form of mercurial preparations. By reading under the 
head of Mercury, you will there see the different forms 
in which this mineral is prepared — and that it may be 
given to act promptly or mildly on the system. My 
course of practice in this disease, has been to employ 
the use of calomel from an early stage of the disease, 
after having purged the bowels well frequently by its 
use alone or combined with jalap. I generally admin- 
istered in small doses, say from one to two grains every 
three hours until salivation took place: or to act with 
more mildness, about the size of a nutmeg of mercuri- 
al ointment, {oil of haze,) was rubbed over the region 
of the liver, every night until salivation was produced. 
I make use of the words, '^oil of baze," because they 
form the name by which the country people usually ask 
for the article in the shops. When this takes place, 
you will know it by the following circumstances: You 
will spit freely; the salivary glands will become enlarg- 
ed, and the throat sore, the gums tender, and the breath 
have an offensive and peculiar odour, &c. 

In rubbing the ointment over the region of the liver, 
if any pain or uneasiness is produced by it, which is 
sometimes the case, you must rub it on the inside of the 



246 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

thighs. In some constitutions, calomel disagrees with 
the patient; I have had such cases frequently. When 
this is the case, and your patient's situation requires it, 
recourse must be had to a milder preparation of mer- 
cury — the blue pill. For the method of making this 
pill, look under the head of Mercury. The usual 
method of administering this mild and elegant prepar- 
ation is, by giving a pill twice or three times a day, 
morning, noon, and night. If the symptoms are less 
urgent — twice a day will suffice — and if very mild and 
gradual, a pill at bed-time will be sufficient. Pursue 
this course steadily, until the gums are affected, or a 
copperish taste is experienced in the mouth: this must 
be kept up gently until the disease is subdued, or some 
visible effect is produced upon the system. After the 
effect is produced, stop the use of mercury — and give 
time to see the advantage you may have derived from 
your course of practice. The blue pill, although a 
mild preparation, is not without its inconveniences. It 
sometimes occasions griping pain in the bowels, by 
which it will at times run off, without producing the 
effect intended, which is an approach to — or salivation 
itself — so as to induce a change or alterative effect on 
the liver. If this be the result, a small portion of 
opium or laudanum will check this griping, and prevent 
the pill from passing off without producing the effect 
intended and desired. Where there are uneasy and 
unpleasant sensations produced by these medicines, 
particularly when Dyspepsia, or Indigestion is con- 
nected with a diseased liver, which is very frequently 
the case in the United States, there is a considerable 
degree of morbid or diseased sensibility in the stomach 
and bowels, which can generally be removed by joining 
some innocent and* gentle anodyne with them; but 



GUNN,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 247 

where this morbid sensibility does not exist, the ano- 
dyne ought to be omitted. When this slow and gradual 
mercurial taste can be kept up in the mouth for some 
time, without actually producing a free flow of spittle, 
or salivation, great benefit will be felt by the patient: 
and I have always found, on an actual salivation being 
produced, the symptoms entirely removed, and a cheer- 
fulness and a change of feelings so different, as at once 
to inspire that confidence of returning health, which 
can alone be communicated by the prudent and care- 
ful use of this valuable specific. Persons who are 
prejudiced against the use of mercury, and there are 
many who entertain an unfavorable opinion of its use, 
whether from having observed its injurious effects from 
bad treatment, or from the terrible and unfounded tales 
which are daily circulated respecting it, I cannot say, 
have never witnessed its innocently beneficial effects in 
diseases of the liver, in as many instances as I have. 
The fact is, that I have known those very persons 
travel one hundred miles to obtain relief "without the 
aid of mercury" from some published quack medi- 
cine, who always met mercury under some disguised 
form. 

But, without those whose prejudices are not to 
be removed respecting the use of mercury, I shall give 
such remedies as are highly recommended in this com- 
plaint, by some of the most distinguished physicians of 
Europe and the United States. The late experiments 
made with the medicine I am about to recommend, 
have proved, by their influence in the practice, equal 
to mercury — in fact, they prefer its use in the first in- 
stance: for, say they, "if it does not succeed, which is 
not apt to be the case, it leaves the system in a much 



248 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

better situation for the use of the last and certain rem- 
edy — mercury." 

This medicine is nitric acid; and may be obtained 
at any doctor's shop, or wherever medicines are sold, 
at a very trifling sum. This article, in its pure state, is 
perfectly colorless, and transparent as pure water. I 
have frequently received it from the northern cities of 
a slight straw color; but this is not so good as that 
which is perfectly pure and transparent — and is, in fact, 
nothing more nor less than aquafortis. It is made of 
sulphuric acid, which is merely oil of vitriol — and 
nitrate of potass, which is no more than simple salt 
petre. Nitric acid, in its pure state, should be cautious- 
ly handled, or it will destroy your clothes, and stain 
your hands of a yellow color which cannot be washed 
off. It is used by the country people generally, to color 
the stocks of their rifles. I suppose this caution will 
be sufficient. It becomes quite harmless, after being 
diluted or mixed with water. The method of using 
the nitric acid, or aquafortis, is as follows: A quart 
bottle of water may be made agreeably sour, that is, to 
suit the taste of the patient, and sweetened with sugar 
so as to make it a pleasant drink. Take as much of 
this drink from your bottle during the twenty-four hours, 
as your stomach will bear without inconvenience. 
Sixty drops of this nitric acid, will be sufficient for a 
quart of water. This medicine, like mercury, must be 
gradually continued, until some visible effect is produ- 
ced on the system. This will be felt by an affection of 
the mouth and glands, and excite spitting, similar to 
mercurial preparations. In all constitutions of a scor- 
butic or scurvy habit, or those laboring under great 
weakness, the nitric acid will be a better remedy than 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 249 

mercury; because it acts as a tonic or strengthening 
medicine, at the same time that it tends to correct the 
scorbutic affection. 

In several cases, in which I have had opportunities 
of trying the nitric acid in the form I have mentioned, 
it has always had beneficial effects, with the exception 
of the single case of a lady of delicate and irritable 
stomach: she was compelled to discontinue its use, 
from the acidity it produced on her stomach. This I 
endeavored to remedy, by gentle emetics or pukes* 
intended to cleanse the stomach of its impurities; and 
by afterwards giving magnesia, and charcoal, and such 
other articles, for the purpose of neutralizing or destroy- 
ing the acid. All however did not succeed, and I was 
compelled to desist. From this practice, and general 
experience, I apprehend no other difficulty with regard 
to the beneficial effects of the nitric acid in chronic 
affections of the liver, than the simple fact of the patient 
being unable to take it a sufficient time to produce the 
effect desired. In such cases as the above, therefore, 
mucli benefit will be experienced from the use of the 
nitro muriatic bath. 

This valuable and grateful remedy, is by far too 
much neglected in the United States. The reason of 
this neglect I apprehend to be, because its application 
is considered to be attended with some trouble. I 
recollect a circumstance in point. I directed one of 
my patients to bathe his feet every night on going to 
bed, in this bath: "What, doctor," said he, "every 
night?" — "or every other night," said I: he exclaimed 
— "How much trouble!" This is the reason, I have 
no doubt, why this simple but valuable preparation is 
so much neglected. But to those, who, like myself, 
have witnessed the surprising cures produced by its 

32 



250 GUIVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

use, the trouble will be considered a matter of no con- 
sequence. I shall, for the satisfaction of my reader, 
relate a case. 

Mrs. Stoner, wife of John Stoner, of Botetourt coun- 
ty, Virginia, was in the last stage of this disease; and 
had been attended by several distinguished physicians, 
who treated her case for consumption. At the time her 
husband called on me to visit her, his object was mere- 
ly to procure the administration of some palliative 
remedies, to soothe her cough, and relieve her obstruct- 
ed respiration or breathing, which had nearly suffoca- 
ted her several times: he entertained neither hope nor 
belief, that any medical assistance could, by any possi- 
bility, permanently relieve her. In truth, from what I 
had heard of her case, I candidly stated to Mr. Stoner, 
that my visits would only be a useless expense ; and 
advised such remedies as were calculated to allay irri- 
tation. Two or three days afterward, Mr. S. made a 
second application, and to gratify an affectionate and 
tender husband, and a numerous and highly respectable 
connexion, I consented to visit her. On my arrival, I 
found her situation, as I at first supposed, to be critical 
in the extreme ; in fact, the last stage of consumption — 
hollow cough — breathing very difficult and obstructed 
— constant expectoration, or discharge of matter, occa- 
sionally streaked with blood — regular paroxysms of 
fever, accompanied with flushings at mid-day, and 
toward evening terminating in profuse sweats — diar- 
rhoea or dysentary — in fact, her case was such an 
exact resemblance of the last stage of consumption, 
that the most experienced and skilful physician would 
have been deceived. I remained all night ; and very 
attentively examined this, (as I at first supposed,) 
hopeless case. About midnight she requested some 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 251 

nourishment, which was immediately prepared, and of 
the lightest kind. She had hardly swallowed it, before 
it was rejected or thrown up: and for the first time, I 
observed the extreme irritability of her stomach. On 
inquiry, she stated that from her first attack the slight- 
est food would oppress her stomach with a sense of 
burning and fullness, and become sour, accompanied 
with the most unpleasant sensations, until what she had 
eaten was rejected and thrown up. I now questioned 
her minutely, as to all the symptoms from the com- 
mencement of the disease; and her answers fully con- 
vinced me, that the liver was the primary seat of the 
disease. Fully impressed with this opinion, although 
debilitated in the extreme, and reduced to a mere 
skeleton, and so weak as almost to faint on the slightest 
exertion, I determined, even in this last and almost 
hopeless stage, to try the nitro muriatic bath. Fear- 
ful that the bath, in the usual way, would be productive 
of fatal consequences immediately on its application, I 
hesitated some hours; but, with the consent of herself 
and her family having candidly stated to all parties my 
serious doubts, as to the success of the remedy in this 
stage of her case, I proceeded to the use of the bath in 
its mildest form, by suffering her hand alone to remain 
in it for fifteen or twenty minutes. In five minutes 
after her hand was in the bath, she complained of great 
uneasiness in the region of the liver, which gradually 
subsided after withdrawing her hand. This night she 
rested well. The following morning, expectoration 
was greatly increased. This day I placed both her 
hands in the bath : there was immediately great oppres- 
sion ; her nervous system became much agitated ; and 
her extremities were becoming very cold. I immedi- 
ately removed her hands from the bath — and she 



252 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

fainted. There was now much increase of pulse \ and 
great oppression of breathing, almost amounting to 
suffocation. On a sudden, as if by a convulsive effort, 
she threw up about a pint of yellow bile, similar in 
color to the yoke of eggs. The oppression from this 
time ceased; her breathing became slow, easy, and 
regular: and, by a continuance of this bath, gradually 
persevered in, and moderately increased to sponging the 
whole body with it — and lastly to using it as a foot 
hath, she improved daily — and in eight weeks I had 
the satisfaction of seeing her attending to her domestic 
concerns, in tolerable health, which gradually improved 
until she was entirely restored. The strength of the 
bath I used, was about equal to weak vinegar and wa- 
ter. For the period of about six weeks, during which 
I was engaged in performing this cure, the relative of 
this lady, the Rev. Mr. Crumpecker, pastor of the 
Dunkard society, an individual whose character as a 
christian, a philanthropist, and a man of integrity, 
would do honor to any age or country; together with 
his friend John Stoner, sen. were absent on a visit to 
the state of Maryland. On their return, they were 
astonished to find Mrs. Stoner, of whom they had taken 
leave for eternity, in the vigor of comparative health 
and strength, and attending to all her domestic affairs. 
I mention the names of these gentlemen particularly, 
because when they persue my report of Mrs. Stoner's 
case as treated by me with the nitro muriatic bath, 
they will confirm the fact of her entire recovery from 
the use of this bath. It may be necessary to state, that 
Mr. Stoner's diet consisted of milk and water, and 
mush and milk ; and nothing stimulating ; being entire- 
ly restrained from animal food. 

The nUro-muriaiic bath is formed, by mixing equal 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 253 

parts of the nitric acid and muriatic acid together. 
You must pay strict attention to the following directions, 
or your carelessness will produce unpleasant consequen- 
ces. When these two acids come in contact, that* is to 
say, when they are poured together, without having 
been previously mixed with water separately, a gas, or 
volume of what appears to be smoke, will immediately 
fill the whole house. This gas has a very disagreeable 
smell, and is dangerous to the lungs. The proper man- 
ner of mixing them is, first, to fill a glass bottle about 
half full of cold water ; next, you must put in one of the 
acids, and shake it up with the water; then you must 
put in the other acid, and immediately cork the bottle 
tightly, occasionally shaking the acids together. This 
will prevent the unpleasant smell I have mentioned, and 
retain the virtues of these medicines, if you keep your 
bottle well corked: the fact is, that none other than 
glass bottles with stoppers of the same material, can 
keep these acids in. 

Having stated to you how this nitric acid is made, it 
is necessary also to communicate the method practised 
in procuring the muriatic acid. It is distilled from 
nothing more than common salt, by means of sulphuric 
acid, or in other words oil of vitriol. It ought always 
to be kept with wax over the cork, so as to prevent the 
fumes from escaping; they are very unpleasant, and in 
large volumes suffocating. But when either of these 
acids is mixed with water, as I have before directed, 
and the other then added, they lose all unpleasant effects, 
and become nothing more than strong acid, like vinegar 
and water. You will easily perceive by these directions, 
that you may make the nitro-muriatic bath weaker or 
stronger, as you may think proper. This bath is very 
easily made at any time; for, by mixing some acid from 



254 GUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the bottle before mentioned, with water pleasantly warm, 
to about the strength of vinegar and water, you have 
the bath. Bathe the feet and legs in this bath, from ten 
minutes to half an hour, according to the strength of 
the patient, immediately before retiring to bed. If the 
patient be very weak, bathing one hand a few minutes 
will be sufficient; if a little stronger, the whole body 
maybe sponged with the acid; and if still stronger, the 
feet and legs to the knees may be bathed, according to 
the circumstances and times just mentioned. A narrow 
wooden bucket or box, sufficient to admit the feet and 
legs, and to permit the bath to reach the knees, would 
be advisable: it would be a saving of the acid, the requi- 
site strength of which can always be tested by tasting it. 
You may preserve the bath or acid in an earthen crock, 
or in any glass vessel, and by warming it again, continue 
to use it when required. 

It is impossible to specify the time this bath should be 
used ; this must depend on the effect produced, and the 
strength of the patient. The object is, to bring the 
system moderately and gradually under its influence; 
which is easily done, because it may be made so inno- 
cent, by applying it very weak, as to be borne in the 
most delicate state of the patient. I have witnessed 
persons being immersed in it up to the chin for half 
an hour; while others, who were very weak and ner- 
vous, were strongly affected by the immersion of one of 
the hands. The great advantage of this bath is, that 
you may regulate its strength to any point necessary. I 
have no doubt it would be highly beneficial in indiges- 
tion, and in all depraved states of the biliary secretion, 
producing melancholy and despondency of mind, or 
in other words, hypochondriasis. The nitro-muriatic 
bath will be found also a valuable remedy to females. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 255 

This bath, or the nitric acid taken by the stomach, 
ought always to be very much diluted with water ; and 
if any very considerable effects are produced, the use of 
it ought to be stopped for a week or two, and gradually 
resumed again: whenever it produces very uneasy sen- 
sations, you must be guided by your feelings; nor are 
you ever to take any animal food, or use any stimulants 
of any kind, while using this bath, or the nitric acid in 
any way. If the bathing, or sponging the body, should 
not keep the bowels open, or in a laxative state, you 
must take some simple medicine, such as epsom salts, 
senna and manna, or aloes, or any thing else that will 
keep the bowels gently open. 

In addition to what I have said, it may be remarked 
in conclusion, that equal quantities of epsom salts and 
magnesia, ground very fine together in a mortar, and a 
sufficient quantity taken to keep the bowels gently open, 
always act beneficially in diseases of the Liver: the 
common dose is from one to two tea-spoonsful, in half a 
pint of cold water. Or you may mix equal quantities 
of jalap and cream tartar, ground fine in a mortar, and 
give doses of a tea-spoonful. This last is a drastic pur- 
gative, and acts powerfully on the Liver. I have never 
used it in my practice, always preferring, as a mild 
purgative, the salts and magnesia. The low-ground 
sarsaparilla, found in almost every part of the United 
States, is also a very good remedy in diseases of the 
Liver; it ought to be taken plentifully, cold, in decoc- 
tion or tea. I must not omit to remark, and that 
emphatically and strongly, that the use of the warm 
bath, as described under that head, will be almost 
indispensable in the cure of all diseases of the Liver, 
and in all stages of those diseases. 

I cannot relinquish the subject of Diseases of the 



256 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

Liver, without mentioning in terms of almost unquali- 
fied approbation, my candid opinions of the waters of 
the Harrodsburg and Greenville Springs, situated in 
the county of Mercer, and State of Kentucky. These 
waters are known to act powerfully and beneficially on 
the Liver; nor do I believe there have been many 
instances, if an absolute consumption, or an induration 
of the Liver had not taken place, in which those waters 
have not been efficient in removing diseases of the Liver. 
Their almost certain efficacy is so well known, that they 
are frequented by thousands of invalids, during the 
summer months, from every part of the United States. 
And I would advise all persons laboring under com- 
plaints of the Liver, or under Dyspepsia or Indigestion, 
and who have become hopeless of the influence of med- 
ical prescriptions, never to omit, if it be possible for 
them to travel to those Springs, to give those waters a 
fair trial. They are situated in a beautiful and health- 
ful country, and the accommodations are always such 
as to insure the comfort and convenience of all invalids 
who approach them. 



DYSENTERY OR FLUX. 

This disease is always attended with Tenesmus, or 
a constant desire to go to stool, without being able to 
pass any thing from the bowels, excepting a bloody kind 
of mucus, which resembles that generally scraped from 
the entrails of a hog. These desires to go to stool, are 
usually accompanied with severe griping, and also with 
some fever. After a few days continuance of this com- 
plaint, your discharges by stool will consist of pure 
blood, and matter mixed; and from severe straining to 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



257 



evacuate, parts of your bowels will frequently protrude 
or come out, which soon becomes a source of great 
suffering. Dysentery or Flux, generally takes place- 
about autumn; when the whole body has become 
irritable by a continuation of warm or rather hot 
weather, and has been suddenly exposed to cold or 
damp; it is also produced by eating unripe or green 
fruit of any kind ; by sudden suppressings or stoppages 
of the perspiration or sweat; by the eating of some 
putrid or decayed food ; and sometimes it arises, from 
some peculiar cause existing in the atmosphere: — when 
this is the case, whole neighborhoods, and extensive 
tracts of country are affected by it fatally. 
REMEDIES. 
If your patient is vigorous, hale, and generally 
healthy — and there is considerable fever, the loss of 
some blood in theirs* stage of the disease, will be 
proper. But if, on the contrary, the patient be a weak- 
ly and delicate person, the loss of any blood would be 
highly improper and dangerous. First: cleanse the 
stomach by an emetic or puke of ipecacuanha ; then 
wive a purge of calomel; (see table for dose.) Next: 
if the disease does not abate, you must repeat the purg- 
ing daily with castor oil: this is the best medicine you 
can possibly use in this complaint. As the stools are 
generally very offensive, you can easily correct them, 
by giving a tea-spoonful of prepared chalk, in a little 
cold water, three times a day; this prepared chalk is 
nothing but common chalk freed of its impurities. 
Give clysters frequently through the day, made of 
slippery elm ; which is to be thrown up the bowels cold. 
In case of violent pain, bathe the stomach with lauda- 
num, and spirits in which camphor has been dissolved ; 
and apply cloths wrung out of hot water to the belly. 

33 



258 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

or blister over the stomach. If the belly is hard, and 
sore on being touched, grease it well with any kind of 
oil or lard: here the frequent use of the warm bath 
will be of immense service. When the disease is very 
obstinate, administer a clyster morning and night, of 
a mucelage of cherry-tree gum — or peach-tree gum, 
dissolved in water until it will be ropy and glutinous 
■ — in which drop from fifty to sixty drops of laudanum, 
for grown persons ; and so on in proportion to different 
ages. Throw this clyster up the bowels cold ; (for the 
method of doing which, see under the head clyster.) 
The warm bath, and castor oil, in this disease may 
safely be depended on. If the desire of going to stool 
is very frequent and painful, introduce up the back side 
or fundament, (I must speak in plain terms,) a pill of 
opium of from three to four grains. It must be put up 
with much care and tenderness ; because in this com- 
plaint the parts are always very sore — its remaining 
there will greatly allay the irritation of the lower gut, 
and produce much relief and immediate comfort: the 
proportions of opium in the pill, must be varied accor- 
ding to the age of the patient. The common black- 
berry syrup, ought to be prepared and kept in every 
family in this country, and used freely in this complaint. 
I frequently apply a remedy in this disease, which I 
claim as the discoverer; and which very often suc- 
ceeds, when all others have failed: it is flax-seed oil, to 
be given in the quantity of a table-spoonful, twice a day 
to a grown person, and reducing the dose according to 
the age of the patient. It may be necessary to remark, 
that small doses of ipecacuanha combined with opium ; 
say three grains of ipecacuanha to half a grain of 
opium, formed into a pill and given twice a day, after 
purging well with castor oil, will be an excellent 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 259 

remedy to check this complaint, by producing a mois- 
ture on the skin, and allaying the irritation of the 
bowels. The drinks should be of the mildest kind, 
such as slippery-elm tea ; flax-seed tea ; water melon 
seed tea; and diet of the lightest kind — such as jellies, 
chicken soup, lamb soup, &c. &c. 



LAX, OR CONSTANT LOOSENESS OF THE 
BOWELS: 

(Called by physicians Diarrhoea.) 
This disease is unattended with[ any fever, and not 
contagious or catching, as is the disease immediately 
before mentioned. It generally prevails among per- 
sons of weakly constitutions; persons advanced in 
years ; and those who have lived intemperately. Many 
are naturally and constitutionally of this habit or body- 
and others are subject to its attacks, on the slightest 
cold or exposure, which at all affects their bowels. 
The appearance of the stools in this disease, are very 
different at times: sometimes of a thick consistence; 
sometimes thin ; at times of a slimy nature, and then 
again of a whitish color — changing to green, yellow, 
dark or brown, depending very much on the food, and 
the manner in which it agrees or disagrees with the 
stomach and bowels ; sometimes, and that not infre- 
quently, it is produced by worms. 

REMEDIES. 
First: — give an emetic or puke, in the morning; and 
at night, for a grown person, give a large dose of cas- 
tor oil, with from thirty-five drops of laudanum in it; 
but, always lessen this dose, in proportion to the age of 
your patient. Next: — a stool is to be produced daily, 



260 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



by the use of the castor oil. When the griping attends 
the complaint, warm garden mint stewed, and placed 
over the stomach and belly will give relief. When the 
disease has been brought on by cold, or sudden stoppa- 
ges of the perspiration or sweat, use the warm bath, 
and take some snake-root tea, so as to produce a deter- 
mination to the surface, or gentle moisture on the skin. 
This troublesome complaint, frequently continues on 
many persons through life: such persons should be 
particular as to what they eat, and avoid every thing 
that disagrees with their stomach and bowels; always 
taking care to defend their feet against the damp ground, 
and wearing flannel next to their skins. Friction — or 
rubbing the whole body, every day with a brush — par- 
ticularly over the region of the stomach, liver, and 
bowels, will be of much service. Old French brandy, 
taken in moderation, and well diluted with water, is 
not only a good remedy in this complaint when consti- 
tutional, but frequently a preventive against attacks. 
When worms are presumed to have any influence in 
producing this disease, which may be suspected from a 
fetid or offensive breath, the complaint is to be treated 
for worms: see which head. When the complaint 
arises from weakness, opium will be found highly im- 
portant in restraining its excesses, and removing the 
debility. By using the clysters of slippery elm, or those 
made of common starch and warm water; for direc- 
tions how to use which, look under the head clystering. 
Much benefit will result, by cooling the bowels, and 
allaying the irritation which always exists in this 
pisease. 



CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 26l 

INFLAMMATION OF THE STOMACH. 

This complaint can easily be distinguished from any 
other by its distinctive and peculiar symptoms: it is, 
therefore, impossible to mistake it for any other disease 
if the least attention is paid to the indications of its 
presence. There is always violent pain in the stomach, 
together with a sensation of heat or burning in it; there 
is, also, a great increase of pain in the stomach, when 
any thing is swallowed ; and an immediate rejection and 
puking of it up. Also, a sinking and loss of strength ; 
great thirst and uneasiness ; a continued moving of the 
body from side to side of the bed ; and as the disease 
advances, frequent hiccoughs, accompanied with cold- 
ness of the hands and feet. When these last symptoms 
occur, hiccoughs and cold extremities, they are extremely 
unfavorable, and will probably terminate fatally. In- 
flammation of the stomach is produced, by corrosive 
poisons taken into the stomach, or drinking extremely 
cold water, when the body is overheated ; by receiving 
violent blows, or wounds in the region of the stomach ; 
by the gout; by strong emetics; and lastly, by large 
quantities of iced liquor taken into the stomach. 
REMEDIES. 

This being a very dangerous disease, and the life of 
the patient depending on the bold and free use of the 
lancet, you are not to be deterred from its use, by any 
apparent feebleness of the pulse. The proper practice 
is, to bleed freely every few hours, until the inflam- 
mation is subdued. As soon as you have subdued 
the inflammatory symptoms, by frequent bleeding, the 
patient is to be put into the warm bath, where he is to 
remain as long as possible. You are then to have a 
large blister prepared, which must be put over the region 
of the stomach, the moment the patient has left the 



262 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

bath: or, if there is no blister at hand, apply a large 
cataplasm or poultice of mustard and strong vinegar. 
Keep open the bowels, with clysters made of common 
starch, or slippery elm, or flax-seed oil, or thin gruel, or 
chicken water boiled strong. These clysters will assist 
to nourish the patient, especially as he will be unable to 
take the slightest nourishment on the stomach. When 
the inflammation is reduced, and the stomach will bear 
it, a pill of opium (see table for dose) will be servicea- 
ble. The diet should be of the lightest kind ; such as 
jelly, slippery elm tea, rice and light soups — a very little 
at a time, and administered with extreme caution, with 
small doses of laudanum. Small quantities of the best 
sweet oil, about a tea-spoonful at a time, given during 
the continuance of this complaint, will very much assist 
in allaying the inflammation. When this disease ter- 
minates fatally, it invariably ends in mortification ; and 
this will nearly always be the case, unless the lancet is 
used freely in the first instance. A sudden change, from 
great misery to perfect ease, is conclusive evidence of 
mortification. 



INFLAMMATION OF THE INTESTINES. 

This complaint is extremely dangerous, and requires 
immediate and very active measures to arrest its course. 
The symptoms are very distressing, and are always 
accompanied with sharp pains in the bowels, and par- 
ticularly about the navel. The belly seems tight and 
hard, and so tender that the least pressure with the 
fingers gives great pain: you will know it from colic by 
pressing the belly; in colic, the pressure gives relief; 
but in inflammation of the intestines, the belly is so sore 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 263 

that the least bearing on it gives immediate and excru- 
ciating misery. Great weakness attends this disease; 
the pulse is small, quick, and hard ; the urine or water 
is highly colored, and passed off with difficulty; and the 
bowels are very costive. Inflammation of the intestines 
is produced by very nearly the same causes as those 
which are productive of inflammation of the stomach ; 
and is attended with very nearly as much danger as that 
disease. It arises from severe colic; from hard, undi- 
gested food remaining in the bowels ; from drinking cold 
water when the body is overheated; by blows and 
wounds in and about the region of the bowels ; by long 
and severe dysentery ; by worms ; and lastly, by hernia 
or rupture. 

REMEDIES. 
The remedies are much the same as those for inflam- 
mation of the stomach: the object being to arrest the 
disease instantly, and before mortification can take place, 
which always, when it occurs, terminates the matter 
fatally. The only hope of relief, is from the immediate 
and free use of the lancet ; for without its instrumentality 
you may abandon every hope of saving your patient 
Therefore, take blood immediately from the arm, letting 
the stream be large, so as to draw the blood off sud- 
denly. You must repeat the bleeding frequently; as 
the urgency and critical situation of the patient may 
appear to demand it: cup the belly and apply a large 
clyster — to be. made of slippery elm or flax-seed — the 
elm is best for clystering, — and the warm bath. Look 
under the different heads for information. The only 
medicine that ought to be given in this disease, is the 
best sweet oil, in doses of a table-spoonful each, and 
and that frequently. I have no authority for it: but I 
should in my own practice, if attending a case of this 



264 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

kind, mix a tea-spoonful of the finest charcoal, prepared 
as directed under the head of indigestion, with each dose 
of sweet oil: and I should also mix charcoal with the 
clysters of slippery elm. A distinguished physician, 
recommends clysters of cold lead water in this com- 
plaint, to lessen the high action, and subdue the inflam- 
mation. I would suppose, although I never tried it in 
this disease, that his remedy is valuable: it is made by 
mixing, very weak, the sugar of lead and cold water, 
and throwing it up the bowels with a clyster-pipe. Look 
under the head of clystering. 

After the violence of the disease is subdued, you must 
throw up the bowels, as a clyster, fifty or sixty drops of 
laudanum in any simple mucilage, such as flax-seed tea 
or slippery elm. This clyster will allay the irritation, 
and may be given twice a day; early in the morning, 
and late at night — diminishing the quantity of laudan- 
um, according to the age of the patient. The diet should 
be of the lightest kind, and always cautiously given, to 
patients recovering from this dangerous disease: this 
caution is the more necessary, because the disease may 
and frequently does return from very slight causes; espe- 
cially where persons have been afflicted with it several 
times before. In truth, and to speak plainly, it is only 
by proper diet, and that of the most simple kind, with 
great care in preventing exposure, that such persons can 
remain secure. Flannel should be worn next the skin, 
and the warm bath frequently used, for the purpose of 
preventing the recurrence of this very dangerous and 
often unmanageable complaint. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 265 

INFLAMMATION OF THE BRAIN. 

Iliis disease has destroyed some of the most distin- 
guished men, in Europe and America, among whom 
may be named, the celebrated Lord Byron, General 
Nathaniel Greene of the Revolution, and the late Dock 
Dorscy of Pennsylvania. It arises from intense study; 
from exposure to the heat of the sun; and from every 
other cause which produces an over-fullness of blood 
on the brain. The symptoms are, a very high fever; 
great pain in the head; the eyes look red and fiery; 
there is also great watchfulness; the patient is unable 
to bear the smallest light; there is also, generally, a 
heavy dull sleep, with frequent startings as if in alarm; 
the memory fails, and in the first stage of the disease, 
the patient dislikes to talk; but, as the complaint ad- 
vances, the eyes assume a great brightness — the patient 
becomes furious and talks wildly, and generally on 
subjects which have left deep impressions on his mind 
when in health. The tongue becomes dry, and of a 
dark color; the pulse small, quick, and hard; and the 
poor sufferer is frequently seen, to put his hand or 
hands to his head. 

The Brain. — This organ is larger in man than in 
any other known animal. Its general weight is from 
two pounds five and a half ounces, to three pounds 
three and three quarter ounces. I have weighed sever- 
al at four pounds. The brain of the late Lord Byron, 
(without its membranes) weighed six pounds. 
REMEDIES. 

Bleed as largely in quantity, as the strength of your 
patient will possibly admit: let the blood be taken as 
suddenly as practicable from the arm, by a large orifice 
or opening, so as to permit it to flow in a copious and 
bold stream. If the patient, by bleeding from the arm 

34 



266 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

freely, becomes weak, and the disease is not subdued, 
shave the head, and cup freely all over it: — for the 
method of cupping, look under that head. Apply over 
the whole head immediately, the coldest applications 
that can be found, such as wet towels constantly wrung 
out of the coldest spring water — or ice if it can be had ; 
these cold applications are to be constantly renewed, 
until the disease is subdued. Give, also, active purges, 
and that very frequently, consisting of twenty grains of 
calomel and twenty of jalap. If the symptoms are 
very violent, give a clyster, made of thin gruel, with 
thirteen grains of tartar emetic well mixed in it: this 
clyster must be given once every day, as long as the 
disease continues severe. Your patient's head should 
be placed on high pillowing, and his body kept in bed, 
in as upright a posture as possible, so as to lessen as 
far as practicable the determination or flowing of the 
blood to the head. After the violence of the disease is 
removed by bleeding and purging, &c. apply constantly, 
poultices made of pounded mustard seed and vinegar, 
to the feet and ancles; or blister them, with can- 
tharides or Spanish flies, prepared in the usual manner. 
The feet and legs should, also, frequently be bathed in 
the usual way with warm water: this will divert, or 
draw off the determination of blood from the head. 
The diet and drinks should be of the lightest, simplest, 
and most cooling kinds. The room ought to be kept 
dark, and perfectly cool ; nor ought the least noise to 
be permitted to disturb the quiet of the patient. When 
reason begins to return, and the fever to subside, be 
extremely careful to attend to these instructions: be- 
cause the slightest cause will bring on the disease a 
second time, with more violence than in the first in- 
stance, which will in all probability terminate fatally. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 267 

INFLAMMATION OF THE SPLEEN. 

When there is an inflammation of the Spleen, consi- 
derable pain is felt in the left side, where the Spleen is 
situated. By pressing the fingers on the left side, a 
throbbing sensation is easily discovered, and a pain is 
felt by the patient, extending from the side to the left 
shoulder, and not unfrequently through the belly. The 
most remarkable symptoms which attend this disease, 
and those which may be relied on, are puking of blood, 
great weakness, watchfulness, and not unfrequently, the 
mind is much confused. This complaint, like all other 
inflammatory diseases, is attended with considerable 
fever. It is brought on by long continued fevers, and by 
affections of the liver; and persons who have suffered 
much from long attacks of fever and ague, are liable 
to what they term ague-cakes, which are diseases of 
the Spleen, and which are apt to terminate, without the 
application of proper remedies, in inflammation of the 
Spleen. Where there is no inflammation, and the 
side is swelled, the disease is called chronic. 
REMEDIES. 

Purge well, and frequently, with calomel and jalap: 
(see table for dose.) Also, cup over the Spleen: for 
the method of cupping, look under that head: and, 
always, if the disease is of the chronic form, blister 
over the Spleen, in the usual manner. The nitric acid 
will also be found a valuable remedy; (read affections 
of the liver, page 238, where you will find the acid 
treated on at large.) A broad belt worn over the 
Spleen, with folds of cloth to press on it, will be a good 
remedy: as will, also, rubbing the side daily with equal 
quantities of spirits of hartshorn and sweet oil. 



268 GITNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

INFLAMMATION OF THE KIDNEYS. 

In this disease, there is always great pain in the 
small of the hack, similar to that felt in colic, but seat- 
ed much nearer the back bone and loins. There is, 
also, in this complaint, a deadness and numbness of feel- 
ing in the upper part of the thigh ; considerable sickness 
at the stomach ; a great desire to make water frequent- 
ly, which is done with much difficulty, and in small 
quantities at the time. The urine or water is of a 
deep red color, showing that there is great internal 
fever; the slightest motion gives pain; and, even in 
sitting upright in bed, the patient is extremely restless, 
always receiving more ease by laying on the affected 
part. Sometimes one of the testicles is retracted or 
drawn up, so that you can scarcely feel it. The com- 
plaint is brought on, by great exertions in lifting; by 
violent and sudden strains; by exposure to cold when 
over-heated ; by lying on the damp ground ; and, by 
too frequent intercourse with women. Sometimes the 
disease is produced, by hard substances, calculus, stone, 
or gravel, formed in the kidneys: and I have known 
two or three instances, of its having been produced in 
young persons, by that horrible practice called by phy- 
sicians onanism. 

REMEDIES. 

Like all other inflammations, that of the kidneys 
requires the free use of the lancet; always repeating 
the bleeding from the arm, as the urgency and severity 
of the symptoms may seem to require. Cup freely 
over the small of the back: (for cupping, read under 
that head.) Apply flannel cloths, wrung out of hot 
water, to the small of the back ; and give clysters of 
warm milk and water, in equal portions, which must 
be thrown up the bowels three or four times a day. All 



GUNX'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 269 

the drinks should be made warm, in which must be dis- 
solved some kind of gum, such as that of the peach 
tree, or any other kind of gum, that will produce a 
mucilage. Flax-seed tea will answer a good purpose, 
as will also tea made of slippery elm bark; in both of 
which you may put a little spirits of nitre. The bowels 
are to be kept open by castor oil, and by moderate 
clystering. The warm bath must be frequently used, 
and applied for a considerable time at once, over the 
whole body; during which, the patient in the bath, 
must have his body well rubbed with a soft brush or 
woollen cloth: this bath must be repeated every day, 
and twice a day if necessary. The warm bath is a 
most valuable remedy, in this complaint, and must not 
be neglected. After the violence of the disease has 
been subdued, by the use of the lancet and warm bath, 
&c. as before noticed, to give ease and quiet slumbers 
to the patient, administer a pill of opium, or thirty-five 
drops of laudanum ; for the different doses of which, 
proportioned to the different ages, see table for doses. 
Or a clyster at this time, made of flax-seed tea, with 
forty or fifty drops of laudanum mixed with it, will give 
great relief, by allaying both pain and irritation. A 
decoction or tea made of dried peach-tree leaves, made 
by boiling a handful of the leaves in a quart of water, 
until it decreases to three half pints, to be drank occa- 
sionally through the day: — this is an excellent remedy, 
and has been known to succeed in this complaint, when 
the sufferings have been unusually severe. In some 
cases, inflammation of the kidneys cannot be removed, 
until abscesses or ulcers are formed: this state of the 
case will always be known, by the pain becoming less 
severe; by great weight being felt in the small of the 
back; by chills, succeeded by flushes of heat; and 



270 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

when by suffering the urine or water to settle in the 
urinal or pot, you can discover a mucus matter on the 
bottom. 

When this is the situation of the patient, the uva ursi 
will be found a useful medicine: for description of which 
and its medicinal qualities, read under the head of uva 
ursi, sometimes called the upland cranberry, and some- 
times the bearberry. The usual dose is, two or three 
times a day, half a pint of the decoction, or tea made 
of a handful of the leaves, to a pint of water; or a tea- 
spoonful of the pounded leaves, three times a day, taken 
in any kind of syrup. 



INFLAMMATION OF THE BLADDER. 

Immediately above the privates, in this complaint, 
there is very considerable pain ; which is much increa- 
sed by pressing on the part with the fingers. There is, 
also, a constant desire to make water, which is voided 
with much difficulty, and in very small quantities. — 
There is a constant desire to go to stool, and always 
some fever ; also great restlessness, where the disease is 
produced by stone or gravel ; or by stricture or contrac- 
tion of the urethra, or canal which leads from the 
bladder ; or by this passage being stopped up ; or from 
the lodgment of hardened lumps in the lower gut, 
caused by costiveness or constipation of the bowels. 
In the last case, I have frequently known an instrument 
introduced, if the finger could not remove the solid and 
hard excrement, called by physicians the fceces. This 
disease is, also, sometimes produced by injuries received, 
such as severe blows, kicks, falls, &c. ; by taking tinc- 
ture of cantharides or Spanish flies — and by that false 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 271 

and foolish delicacy, whicli leads some persons to hold 
their urine a considerable length of time. I recollect 
a case which terminated fatally by this false modesty. 
A young lady of respectability, was introduced to a 
merchant who was travelling from Philadelphia to New 
York, and placed under his protection to perform the 
same journey. The Post-coach runs the distance, from 
ninety to one hundred miles, in about eleven hours: this 
distance she travelled in excruciating torment from 
retaining her urine, and died from the effects of it, on 
the second day after her arrival at New York. She 
was in the bloom of youth, health and beauty; and I 
mention the case emphatically, as a warning to others, 
who from false delicacy might do the same thing. 
REMEDIES. 
You must, as in all other cases of inflammation before 
mentioned, depend much on frequent bleeding, and the 
free use of the warm bath: and on all such medicines 
as will determine to the surface, or in other words, pro- 
duce a gentle moisture on the skin. Also, get a syringe 
and inject water made pleasantly warm into the bladder, 
which will remove the irritating causes: and, after wash- 
ing out the bladder with warm water, as just directed, 
make a decoction of slippery elm bark, and let it become 
cool — with this decoction or tea, mix a very weak prep- 
aration of sugar of lead, which must be dissolved in 
cold water, and throw up this preparation into the 
bladder occasionally ; this will lessen the inflammation, 
and assist in finally subduing it; but I caution you to 
make the solution of sugar of lead very weak. You 
are not to use a blister in this complaint; because it 
would act immediately and particularly on the bladder, 
by suppressing the urine. Clysters of the mildest kind 
are to be given; they will always soothe, relieve, and 



272 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

reduce the irritation of the bowels, and the adjacent 
parts. If the pain is very severe, laudanum should be 
given: see table for dose — and the water frequently 
drawn off by a catheter: the fact is, that a physician 
should be immediately called; but, if necessity should 
urge the use of the catheter, by a person who is not a 
professional man, a description of the instrument, and 
of the precise manner of using it, both in male and 
female cases, will be found under the proper head. 



DRINKING COLD WATER WHEN OVER- 
HEATED. 

The imprudent use of cold water when a person is 
over-heated, almost invariably produces cramps or 
spasms of the stomach, which usually terminate in death. 
In the year 1816, 1 saw five persons expire in less than 
ten minutes in the city of New York, from drinking cold 
water; in truth, the deaths became so frequent at the 
different watering places throughout the town, that pla- 
cards or printed bills were ordered by the city council 
to be stuck on the different pumps, to caution all persons 
against drinking cold water when over-heated and 
bathed in sweat. This dangerous and fatal practice, if 
it even does not produce immediate death, almost inva- 
riably lays the foundation of lingering and destructive 
diseases, which are extremely difficult of cure. That 
eminent and distinguished physician Benjamin Rush, 
describes the causes of fatality in these cases, in the 
following manner: "When large quantities of cold water 
are suddenly taken into the stomach, under circum- 
stances of an over-heated system, the person in a few 
minutes afterwards loses his sigh*, and every thing 



OUxNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. *273 

appears dark about him; he staggers in attempting to 
walk, and unless supported, falls to the ground; the 
breathing soon becomes very difficult, and a rattling 
noise is heard in the throat; the feet and hands become 
cold, and the pulse cannot bo felt — and generally in 
about five minutes, death is the consequence, unless 
speedy relief can be obtained." Iced toddy, when 
taken under the same circumstances of being over- 
heated, has often been known to produce the same 
fatal effects: and I have known many instances, in 
which ladies in full health, have been brought to the 
brink of eternity in a few minutes, from eating iced 
creams when over-heated by dancing* The truth is, 
that very cold articles of food or drink, even when the 
body is moderately cool, sometimes, in peculiar consti- 
tutions, are productive of dangerous consequences: 
cases which are not very violent, and which come on 
with cramps or spasms, should be immediately atten- 
ded to, or they will also terminate fatally in most 
instances, by Inflammation of the stomach. 
REMEDIES. 
"I have discovered," says Doctor Rush, "but one 
certain remedy in this desperate, and if not immediate- 
ly relieved, fatal disease: — this remedy, and it may be 
relied on, is laudanum; which has to be given in the 
quantity, of from a tea to nearly a table-spoonful im- 
mediately in violent cases, before relief can be obtain- 
ed." When laudanum cannot be had in time, a glass 
of strong whiskey or brandy, one of which is generally 
found forthcoming every where, may be given. Laud- 
anum, however, is so very easily made, and so fre- 
quently necessary in all families, that it ought always to 
be kept in preparation for use: it will frequently save 
the expense of sending for ;i physician a( an unseason- 



274 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

able hour, and oftentimes save life in sudden and 
desperate cases. For the mode of preparing it, see 
under the head laudanum. Every person about to 
drink cold water, when warm and in high perspiration, 
should observe faithfully the following rules. First: 
pour considerable quantities of water on the wrists: 
and next, wash the face, temples and hands, with 
water, and suffer them to dry. These measures from 
the coldness of the water applied, and the evaporation 
which succeeds, will abstract or draw from the interior 
of the body, and particularly from the vital parts, a 
considerable portion of heat; and prevent the sudden 
and dangerous action of the cold on the stomach, and 
other vital parts of the system. You are, also, when 
you drink, to take the water in small quantities at a 
time; in fact, not more than half a pint ai once: re- 
peating the draughts about every five or ten minutes. 
It would be the safest plan, even with the above pre- 
cautions, to mix some spirits with the water. Farmers 
engaged in harvesting their grain, should always let 
the water remain sometime in the vessel before using 
it; — many fatal diseases have originated, in an impru- 
dent disregard of this cautious practice. 



CATARRH, OR COLD. 

Colds are so common in all countries, and their 
modes of treatment so generally known, that not much 
need be said respecting them ; further than to remark, 
that early attention will frequently prevent their laying 
the foundation of other complaints, which may in the 
end prove highly dangerous, and very difficult to 
remove. Persons of delicate constitutions are most 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



275 



subject to colds; and from the carelessness of such 
persons, in neglecting to avoid exposure, and to remove 
the early symptoms of disease, more than two thirds of 
the whole number of consumptive cases, in all coun- 
tries, arise and become fatal. Cold usually comes on 
with a dull heaviness of the head, which feels as if the 
nose was stopped up, which is generally the case. 
There is, also, at times, much sneezing, which is always 
followed by discharges of a thin watery mucus from 
the nostrils. You have soreness of the throat; cough; 
and chills stealing over you, with occasional hot flushes: 
persons of very weakly constitutions have, also, a tight- 
ness and pain of the chest. Sometimes (he symptoms 
are highly inflammatory or feverish; this is nearly 
always the case with very irritable constitutions— in 
which instance, the complaint must be arrested imme- 
diately. Here I repeat, because it is all important, that 
most of the consumptions of this country, originate 
in neglected colds, brought on by exposure to the night 
air; by damp feet; by changing warm clothing for 
thin; by becoming warm from exercise, perhaps in a 
crowded ball room, and suddenly exposing the body to 
a cold current of air; and by many other imprudent 
courses of conduct. 

REMEDIES. 
Immediately before going to bed, bathe the feet and 
legs in warm water fifteen or twenty minutes; then 
wipe and rub them perfectly dry, and wrap them care- 
fully in warm dry flannels. After lying down, take a 
large drink of warm sage, or balm, or hysop tea, or 
any thing else that will sweat moderately. If the head 
is much stopped up with the cold, you may relieve 
yourself in a sitting posture, by covering the head with 
flannel or a blanket, and producing^ steam beneath 



276 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and surrounding the head ; this can easily be done, by 
placing a hot rock in a crock or basin, and gradually 
dripping water on it, at the same time holding the ves- 
sel on your lap; and closing all the avenues by which 
the steam might escape from about your head, except- 
ing one through which you are to breathe. This will 
give much relief in a short time. My practice in the 
commencement of a cold is, to give an emetic or puke, 
which in nine cases out of ten relieves the patient at 
once, and cuts short the advance of the fever: see table 
for dose. When fever is very considerable, with 
violent pain in the head, indicating inflammation, the 
loss of some blood would be advisable: after which, 
give a tea-spoonful of Antimonial wine, every three 
hours, in any kind of drink ; this will determine to the 
surface, or in other words produce a gentle moisture 
on the skin, and allay the feverish symptoms. The 
bowels should be purged moderately, by the daily use 
of epsom salts, in small quantities, dissolved in cold 
water. If there be any pain in the chest or side, after 
employing the above remedies, put a blister over the 
part affected with pain, and keep it running as long 
as possible: look under the head blisters. The diet in 
colds, should be light and cooling. Heating or stimula- 
ting articles, either of drink or diet, are highly impro- 
per, and always produce more or less fever. The best 
drink during the day, is flax-seed tea, with a small 
portion of acid in it. After the feverish symptoms are 
removed a troublesome cough sometimes remains: this 
may be relieved by the use of balsam capaiva, in 
doses of ten or fifteen drops, on lumps of sugar, given 
three times a day: and a dose of paregoric, each night 
at bed time: see table for dose; or a small pill of 
opium: see table, The French have an excellent 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 277 

remedy for curing cold, which I have frequently em- 
ployed with success, producing immediate relief. They 
apply a poultice of boiled onions to the sole of each 
foot on going to bed, after having bathed the feet and 
legs well in warm water: and if the throat is sore, they 
apply the boiled onion poultice to it. This is a valua- 
ble application, and may be much relied on. If the 
chest is much oppressed, the application of this poultice 
to the breast, will almost invariably relieve. The 
following remedy, which is an excellent and efficacious 
one, has frequently afforded relief, in cases where colds 
had nearly settled down into confirmed Consumptions. 
Take one tea-spoonful of flax-seed, half an ounce of 
liquorice, and a quarter of a pound of raisins: put 
them into two quarts of rain water, and simmer the 
whole over a slow fire, until you reduce the quantity to 
one quart. Then prepare some candy made from 
brown sugar, and dissolve it in the liquor boiled down 
to a quart ; half a pint of this is to be taken every night 
on going to bed, mixed with a little good vinegar to 
give it a slightly acid taste; this will certainly relieve 
a cold, if used a few days. I have been more particu- 
lar on this disease than at first view might seem neces- 
sary; but, considering it as intimately connected with, 
and in many instances the forerunner and foundation of 
consumption, I think I am justified in treating it with 
great attention. 



DROPSY. 

Dropsy is a disease of the whole system, arising from 
debility or weakness, and can easily be distinguished 
from other diseases, by the collection of water in some 



278 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

part of the body. By pressing the fingers on the flesh 
with some force, a depression or pitting will take place, 
which can be seen some little time after the fingers have 
been removed: in other words, the flesh will have lost 
its elasticity, and will not immediately spring back, on 
the removal of a pressure. Or, if the water is lodged 
in any particular cavity of the body, it may also be heard 
distinctly, on any sudden change of position, or rapid 
movement of the body. Among physicians, it is called 
by different names, according with the different parts 
of the system, in which the water may be deposited. 
When the water is seated in the cavities of the head 
or brain, the disease is called hydrocephalus: — when 
seated in the cavity of the chest, it is called hydrotho- 
rax: — when in that of the belly, ascites: — when seated 
in the scrotum or bag of the privates, it is called hydro- 
cele: — and when the water is effused in the cellular 
membrane, which is the thin and delicate skin found 
among the muscles or flesh of the body, and which is 
the same that butchers blow up in their veal and mut- 
ton, the dropsical disease is called anasarca. There is 
strong resemblance, between dropsy of the testicle or 
stone in men, and ascites ovarii in women ; the latter 
being small collections of dropsical fluid, in the ovaria, 
which are two oval flat bodies, which are about an inch 
in length, and half an inch in breadth, situated about 
an inch behind the womb, and which are supposed to 
contain and supply whatever the female brings to the 
procreation or formation of the foetus or child. This is 
proved from analogy, by the simple fact, that an animal 
deprived of the ovaria, as in the case of spaying swine, 
looses all power of conceiving, and all venereal desire. 
I omitted to mention, that hydrocephalus or dropsy of 
the brain, is a disease common to children, and will be 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 279 

treated of under the proper head. I have, in the first 
instance, and contrary to the impressions of some medi- 
cal men, given it as my decided opinion, that dropsy is 
a disease of the whole system, — and my reader may be 
assured, that I am sustained in that opinion, by many 
of the most distinguished physicians in the United 
States. 

REMEDIES. 
More diseases of dropsy have been removed by bleed- 
ing, and more relief has been obtained from it, than from 
any other known remedy; for which reasons, it is now 
considered as satisfactorily proved, that this complaint 
is more frequently inflammatory than was generally 
supposed. For this very important information, we are 
indebted to that highly distinguished physician, Doctor 
Benjamin Rush. Bleeding must be entirely regulated, 
as to frequency and quantity, by the relief it affords to 
the patient. In my practice, I always use it freely ; and 
never omit at the same time to purge freely with calomel 
and jalap — see table for dose — or jalap alone. If these 
purges operate without pain, and the stools are fluid or 
watery, and your patient is not much weakened by them, 
it does not matter how many stools are produced daily: 
because the remedy is an efficient and proper one. One 
ounce of cream tartar, in half a gallon of water, drank 
during the day, will be of much service: in truth, all 
articles which will increase the flow of the urine, or 
water from the bladder, called by physicians diuretics*, 
are very useful in this complaint. The following cures, 
which I shall notice in the words of an experienced and 
distinguished man, give evidence of the correctness of 
some of my introductory remarks, among which are 
the following: "The discoveries of each succeeding 
day convince us, that the Almighty has graciously fur- 



280 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

nished man with the means of curing his own diseases, 
in all the different countries and climates of which he 
is an inhabitant; and there is scarcely a day, month, or 
year, which does not exhibit to us, the surprising cures 
made by roots, herbs, and simples, found in our own 
vegetable kingdom, when all foreign articles have utterly 
failed," &c. &c. The truth is, that the wise and benefi- 
cent Creator of the Universe, has made nothing in vain ; 
and the time will come, when the apparently most use- 
less and noxious plants, will be found eminently useful 
in the cure of diseases, which have hitherto baffled the 
profoundest skill, and the most powerful energies of 
genius. The following are the words of the author 
just alluded to: "I am knowing to two extremely distress- 
ing cases of dropsy, being entirely relieved by means 
of the bark of the common elder. One, a woman 
advanced in age, in the last stages of this disease, who 
lost a brother some short time previous, by the same 
complaint. The other, a young woman, who had been 
for eighteen months confined to her bed, during four of 
which she was unable to lie down, and who is now 
wholly free from dropsy, and recovering strength in a 
most surprising and unexpected manner. A great many 
other cases, less aggravated, have been cured by the 
bark of the common elder; I have used it myself with 
universal success; and its immediate adoption by the 
afflicted, is truly important and deserving attention. 
The receipt is as follows: — take two handsful of the 
green or inner bark of the white common elder ; steep 
them in two quarts of Lisbon wine twenty-four hours 
— if this wine cannot be had, Teneriffe or Madeira 
will answer: take a gill every morning fasting, or more 
if it can be borne on the stomach. The bark and 
leaves of the elder, have long been known as powerful 



euirawa domestic medicine. '281 

evacuants. I ought to have said in the proper place, 
that the young woman I have mentioned, used the 
elder-barked wine, at the instance of one of the most 
distinguished physicians of Boston; who had previously 
tried every known prescription without success, and that 
the use of the elder entirely cured her." The following 
remedy, handed to me by a respectable man, who resides 
in Roane county, Tennessee, (Mr. William Mead) will 
undoubtedly be worthy of trial, and I therefore submit 
it to the reader: — "Take two or three handsful of rusty 
nails, and put them into half a gallon of good apple vin- 
egar: then boil, or rather simmer the vinegar, down to 
a quart, and strain it well through a linen cloth: next, 
add to the vinegar a quart of molasses, a handful of 
camomile flowers, and a handful of lavender from the 
garden. Boil or stew this mixture down to a quart 
The dose for a grown person, is a large table-spoonful, 
to be increased gradually to one and a half: the dose* 
of course, must be smaller for younger and more weakly 
persons." The character of Mr. Mead for integrity 
and veracity, and his solemn assurances that the pre- 
scription has often been eminently successful, induce me 
to place it on record. The oxide of iron, in other words 
rust of iron, would probably answer a better purpose 
than the nails mentioned bv Mr. Mead. 



SCURVY. 

Tins disease is frequently of a highly putrid nature, 
and generally afflicts persons who have lived a consid- 
erable time on salted provisions, or unsound and tainted 
animal food. Those are also subject to it, who have 

been long confined without due exercise; those, also* 

3G 



282 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

who have been unable to obtain vegetable food for a 
considerable period. Cold moist air, bad water, the 
morbid influence of depressing passions, such as grief, 
fear, &c. and the neglect of personal cleanliness, will 
also produce scurvy. With regard to cleanliness, I 
must speak in plain terms. Neglect of personal or 
bodily ablutions; in other words washings, among 
females at particular periods, are in reality the causes 
of very many cases of scurvy: and here I am compelled 
to say, that such are the cleanly habits of the French 
of the better order, male and female, I have never 
known a single case of scurvy among them, although 
much accustomed to their society in Europe: they arc 
in the constant habit of using the warm bath. The 
disease called scurvy can always be known, by the soft- 
ness and sponginess of the gums, which, even on being 
gently rubbed with a soft sponge, will invariably bleed. 
Ulcers next form round the teeth, and gradually eat away 
the lower edges of the gums, by which the teeth become 
loose, and sometimes fall out. The breath is always 
offensive, and smells badly ; the face is usually of a pale 
yellow color, and considerably bloated ; the heart pal- 
pitates, or beats rapidly and irregularly, on slight 
exertion ; the legs and feet swell ; small ulcers or sores, 
break out on different parts of the body, and more gen- 
erally on the legs ; pains are felt over the whole body ; 
the urine or water is high colored; the stools smell very 
badly; the strength becomes very much reduced, and 
bleeding takes place from the nose, ears, gums, and 
fundament. When these last symptoms take place, the 
sufferer is near the termination of his earthly career; 
and it is no less singular than true, that the appetite 
remains good to the last, together with a perfect reten- 
tion of memory. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 283 

REMEDIES. 
All acids are valuable medicines in scurvy: such as 
common vinegar with fresh vegetables ; in fact a bath 
made of vinegar and water, in which the whole body 
can be frequently bathed, will be of essential service; 
as will also the plentiful use of ripe fruits. Sour krout, 
or pickled cabbage, is so excellent a remedy in scurvy, 
that a Dutchman (whose name I have forgotten) receiv- 
ed a large premium from the British Government, for 
introducing it into the English Navy. When there is 
much debility, the moderate use of good old wine will 
be proper; as will also the use of nitric acid: see disea- 
ses of the liver, page 238, where you will see this 
medicine plainly described, together with its effects, by 
which the bowels will generally be kept sufficiently loose, 
at the same time that the system will be strengthened. 
If, however, the bowels should be bound, dissolve a 
table-spoonful of cream tartar in a pint of boiling water, 
and when cold use it as a drink. I must not omit to 
mention, emphatically, that regular exercise is absolutely 
necessary in this complaint. You will find the follow- 
ing medicine, also, a good remedy: dissolve three ounces 
of common salt-petre, in a quart of good vinegar, and 
take one or two table-spoonsful three or four times a 
day ; or less quantities if the state of your patient will 
justify it. When the gums are much swollen, with con- 
siderable ulceration, and the mouth, teeth, and breath 
have a foetid or bad smell, the mouth must be frequently 
washed with water, prepared as follows: boil red-oak 
bark in water, then strain the water well, and in it dis- 
solve a lump of alum, to which add a tea-spoonful of 
finely powdered charcoal, which is to be prepared by 
burning common smith's coal over again. I have omit- 
ted to state, that if the breathing is difficult, or there is 



284 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

much pain in the breast, a blister should be applied on 
the chest over the pain: you are never to bleed in scurvy, 
if you do you will lose your patient. Pure air, moder- 
ate, yet sufficient exercise, and the warm bath of pleasant 
temperature, with a sufficiency of vinegar in it, as before 
mentioned, will restore your patient. 



PLEURISY. 

Pleurisy is an inflammatory complaint, and requires 
remedies for the immediate reduction of the inflamma- 
tion. The symptoms are, a sharp pain in the side, 
particularly when you draw your breath ; the pain then 
shooting into the breast, back, or shoulder ; great diffi- 
culty in lying on the affected side ; the tongue is of a 
white color; the urine or water of a high color; the 
face flushed and red ; and the body very hot, denoting 
much fever. Sometimes this disease is accompanied 
with cough ; and when this is the case, it is what phy- 
sicians call a short dry cough. Sometimes the cough 
increases, and is accompanied by spitting up of tough 
phlegm ; and the blood when drawn from the arm, and 
suffered to cool, has a coat or covering on it of a buffy 
color, which always denotes inflammation. This com- 
plaint is brought on by exposure to cold and wet ; by 
sleeping on the damp ground, and getting the feet wet; 
by being exposed to sudden currents of cold air, when 
the body is overheated ; by the suppression of certain 
periodical evacuations ; or in other words, by the obstruc- 
tion of the menstrual discharges in women. The winter 
and spring, are the seasons in which this complaint is 
most prevalent. I will endeavor, for the satisfaction 
pf the reader, to notice such symptoms as indicate a 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 285 

favorable termination of the disease ; and, also, such 
as argue an unfavorable and fatal issue of the com- 
plaint. First, the symptoms are favorable, when there 
is a free perspiration or sweating; when there is a 
copious discharge, by expectoration or spitting freely; 
when the urine or water, deposites, on settling, consi- 
derable sediment or grounds, in the urinal or pot ; when 
there is a spontaneous bleeding at the nose; or a gen- 
tle purging comes on; or the skin becomes warm and 
soft, with an abatement of thirst; and, when there is a 
considerable relief from pain in the head and side. 
Second, the symptoms are unfavorable, when there is 
violent fever; when the patient is delirious or out of 
his senses; when the pain suddenly stops, and the face 
or countenance changes its expression ; when there is 
little, perhaps no expectoration or discharge by spitting; 
or if there is any thing spit up, it is of a dark color; 
and, finally, when there is a sinking and irregularity 
of the pulse: these symptoms are highly dangerous. 
REMEDIES. 
I have stated above, that pleurisy is an inflamma- 
tory disease, and that it requires the immediate reduc- 
tion of the Inflammatory symptoms. You must, 
therefore, bleed in the first instance, as freely as the 
constitution and state of the patient will bear. If the 
fever still continues high, and the pulse remain hard 
and full; or, in other words, if the pain and fever, 
after the first bleeding, should be relieved for a short 
time, and afterwards return with any violence, it will 
be proper to bleed a second time moderately. In fact, 
I have frequently been compelled to bleed three and 
four times, before I could reduce the inflammatory 
symptoms. After the first bleeding, apply a large blis- 
ter over the pain, whether situated in the side or chest: 



286 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and, if the blister should not run sufficiently after be- 
ing dressed, and the pain should continue, apply 
another blister. After the bleeding and blistering, give 
a large dose of epsom salts ; and if any considerable 
pain is felt, put the patient in a warm bath which will 
cover the whole body. I have, in more than fifty 
cases in the State of Virginia, relieved pleurisy by im- 
mediate and copious bleeding, and as early as conve- 
nient afterward, by using the warm bath. After the 
inflammatory action is in some degree removed, the 
Seneka snake-root tea will be found a valuable remedy: 
look for a description of this root, under that head. 
Throughout this complaint, the bowels must be kept 
open, by the use of epsom salts, or senna and manna, 
or castor oil: epsom salts, however, will always be 
best, if they can be procured. Clysters of any simple 
kind, such as thin gruel milk warm, or starch dissolved 
in warm water, will be perhaps equally good for keep- 
ing the bowels open. See under the head clystering, 
and how to prepare clysters. When perspiration or 
sweating is not produced in moderation, by the reme- 
dies I have mentioned, equal quantities of antimonial 
wine and sweet spirits of nitre, mixed, and given in 
doses of a tea-spoonful every two hours, will assist in 
producing perspiration. Toward the close of this dis- 
ease, and after the inflammatory or feverish symptoms 
have subsided, and not before, if the cough should 
continue troublesome, give a pill of opium at night, or 
a dose of paregoric or laudanum: see table, for doses 
of these articles; and, also, under different heads, how 
they are made. If the pulse should sink, and your 
patient become weak, stimulate him gently but cau- 
tiously with warm toddy, or wine mixed with sugar 
and water, and apply blisters to the ancles, and cata- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 287 

plasms or poultices to the soles of the feet, made of 
mustard-seed pounded fine, and mixed with vinegar. 
These measures sometimes become necessary, from 
sinking of the pulse, coldness of the feet, or extreme 
weakness: they always produce excitement and warmth 
in the system. This complaint requires the strictest 
abstinence from all animal food, and from every thing 
which has a tendency to produce fever. The patient 
should live on the lightest diet, and such as will keep 
down all fever and inflammation: in fact, there is no 
disease mentioned in this book, which requires a more 
rigid abstinence from solid food than pleurisy. Noth- 
ing but toast and water, barley water gruel, or flax-seed 
tea, ought to be taken in this disease, and that warm 
and in very small quantities at a time ; a little panado 
may be given as nourishment. Unfortunately, and for 
want of experience, when any person is taken sick in 
this country, and refuses to cat for two or three days, 
great alarm is created immediately lest the patient 
should starve to death: and I have known several in- 
stances, since I have been in the western country, in 
which the officious stuffing of patients with food, with 
the best possible intentions, has produced death, in 
spite of medical assistance. I wish all such persons as 
are disposed to cram their patients with food, when 
there is no appetite for it, and the stomach rejects it, to 
remember that nature generally speaks the truth. 
After recovering from this disease, great care must be 
taken to avoid all cold and dampness, and particularly 
exposure to the night air; because they almost always 
produce dangerous relapses. Flannel ought to be worn 
next the skin; and dressed buck-skin, I am convinced 
from my own practice, worn in the same manner by 



288 GUJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

delicate persons, is also an excellent defender from cold, 
and much superior to flannel. 



GRAVEL AND STONE. 

Gravel and stone, which originate in the same 
causes, are to be distinguished thus from each other. 
Gravel is usually understood to mean, calculi, (from 
the old word calx, a limestone?) or little sand-like 
stones, which pass from the kidneys, through the ure- 
ters into the bladder. The ureters are small tubes, 
which run from the kidneys to the bladder, and convey 
the urine into the latter. The word stone speaks for 
itself; it is a strong concretion of matter, which enlar- 
ges and hardens by time, seldom found in the ureters 
or tubes themselves, but generally lodged in the kid- 
neys or bladder: when the stone is in the kidneys, it is 
because it is too large to be passed off by the tubes 
leading to the bladder; and when found in the bladder, 
it is from the simple fact, of its being too large to be 
passed off through the channel of the penis. When a 
disposition to gravel (which I have just explained) 
exists in the urinary system, there will be occasional 
paroxysms or fits of pain in the back, which sometimes 
shoots downward to the thighs; and sometimes a numb- 
ness of one of the legs inside, accompanied with a 
retraction or drawing up of one of the testicles or 
stones in men. The pain I have just spoken of, is 
cften extremely violent, and is sometimes terminated by 
a discharge of small gravel stones from the urethra, 
with the water in the common way. The stone, 
however, which I have .also described, and which is 



OUN.V3 DOMESTIC MEDICINE. *289 

usually found in the kidneys or bladder, sometimes in 
both, is a disease of more serious and dangerous con- 
sequences altogether. When the stone has acquired 
some size, if situated in the bladder, there is a frequent 
and almost constant desire to make water; sometimes 
the water passes off, drop by drop, with much pain; 
and sometimes in a small stream, which occasionally 
stops short; in the last case, when the water passes in a 
small stream with sudden stoppages, there will be great 
pain for some minutes after, in the glans penis, in other 
words the head of the penis. In some persons, the 
violence of straining to evacuate the urine, makes the 
rectum or lower gut contract, and expel its excrements: 
or if that gut be empty, this straining occasions tsnes* 
mus or a constant desire to go to stool. In discharges 
of urine when stone exists in the bladder, there is very 
often blood to be seen in the water, and sometimes pure 
blood itself is passed off in small quantities. When 
the calculus or stone is formed in the kidneys, in addi- 
tion to the general symptoms of stone in the bladder, 
there will be felt a dead, heavy, dull pain, in the loin 
where the kidney containing the stone is seated ; fre- 
quently accompanied by fits of shuddering, and creep- 
ing coldness, in and over the part affected; this 
shuddering and coldness of sensation, are sometimes so 
great, that sufferers have been known to blister the 
small of their backs, by exposure of the parts naked to 
the heat of large fires. In severe cases of calculus or 
stone, either in the kidneys or bladder, there is frequent- 
ly experienced, during the time of passing the urine, 
sickness of the stomach, a desire to vomit, and much 
faintness. Aged persons are most liable to disorders 
of the urinary passages; which do not in all cases arise 
from gravel and £ton*\ «r even from spasmodic strictures 

37 



!290 Gl'NN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

in those parts. These apparent disorders of the urina- 
ry passages, frequently occur in old persons, from the 
constipation and retention of feculent and fetid matter 
in the bowels, which ought always to be attended to by 
gentle purging, and particularly by frequent clystering: 
for clystering, see that head. The gravel, and some- 
times the stone, when the latter has not become much 
enlarged from the lapse of time, may much more easily 
be removed from the bladders of females, than from 
those of males. In women, the urethra or canal which 
leads from the bladder to the exterior, is always 
straighter, shorter, and wider, than in men, and may in 
many cases be dilated so much by artificial means, as 
to admit the gravel or stone to pass off with the water. 
The extraction of the stone from men, by the use of 
the knife, is called by physicians, lithotomy. This is 
a delicate, dangerous, and very painful operation; and 
I have uniformly advised persons much advanced in 
age, and who were afflicted with the stone, to employ 
palliative remedies for the pains attending it, rather 
than lithotomy. 

REMEDIES. 
When there is much difficulty in passing the urine, 
and that difficulty arises from strictures or obstructions 
in the urethra or canal which conveys off the water; 
and especially where inflammation of the bladder is 
apprehended, the catheter must be used: for which, 
see the head catheter. When the complaint is painful 
and oppressive, in what are called paroxysms or fits of 
the gravel or stone, for I make no distinction between 
them as to remedies, and there is so much irritation as 
to lead to apprehensions of inflammation, bleeding 
should be immediately resorted to, followed by the 
warm bath ; in which the patient should remain tome 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. '291 

time. In most cases, I have been enabled to allay the 
pain entirely, by bleeding in the first instances, using 
the warm bath next, and then giving a pill of opium, or 
a dose of laudanum: for which, see head warm bath, 
and table of doses. After these remedies, if consider- 
ed necessary, the privates and belly should be rubbed 
and bathed, with flannel cloths wrung out of warm 
water, in which camomile flowers have been boiled; 
after which, the cloths themselves should be applied 
warm, and suffered to remain. The drink of the pa- 
tient should be flax-seed tea; given as freely as you 
please. Should the pain still continue severe, give a 
clyster made of gruel, and strained, in which put two 
table-spoonsful of castor oil or sweet oil, and forty 
drops of laudanum. This is to be thrown up the 
bowels pleasantly warm: see head clystering. Old 
persons who are afflicted with gravel or stone, will find 
great relief from frequently using such clysters, and 
from taking in moderation, occasionally, laudanum or 
opium to procure rest: see table of doses. But, among 
all the palliative remedies ever yet discovered, I am 
compelled, from both experience and incontestible 
authorities to believe, that, in all diseases of the urina- 
ry organs, and particularly in stone and gravel, the 
uva ursi of the mountainous regions of Europe, and 
possibly of this country, stands conspicuous and alone. 
The following cases of actual experiment, to which, 
had I space many more might be added, will prove 
conclusively that it is a sovereign remedy, if not in 
dissolving the stony matter, at least in banishing the 
sufferings with which it is usually attended. 

Case 1st, At the age of thirty-two, Mr. B hav- 
ing tried various remedies, submitted to an operation 
for the stone, with which he had been afflicted many 



292 GUN'N'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE, 

years. When the usual passage was opened into the 
bladder with a knife, a rough stone of the mulberry 
kind was taken out. Although the operation was well 
performed, the incision perfectly cured, and the severe 
pains he formerly felt had ceased for a time — yet, after 
the lapse of some weeks, he again began to be afflicted 
with excruciating pains, and great difficulty in making 
water. The urine was accompanied with a discharge 
of matter, which had continued ever since the opera- 
tion — and now, instead of decreasing as was expected, 
it had become more abundant, bloody, fetid, corrosive 
and inflammatory, and excited exquisite agony at every 
attempt to pass it off. After various remedies, ordered 
by the best physicians, had been tried in vain, the use 
of the uva ursi was recommended, and many cases in 
which it had been successful related to him by way of 
encouragement. On the 10th of October, 1762, after 
taking some medicines by way of preparation, he began 
with half a drachm of the powder of the plant uva 
ursi, which had been brought from Vienna for the 
greater certainty ; this dose he took twice a day, ob- 
serving a temperate diet, and abstaining from every 
thing considered pernicious. In three weeks his pains 
were appeased ; the matter was greatly diminished in 
quantity, and was also of a much less acid quality; and 
he voided his urine more freely. These circumstances 
gave him great hopes of being perfectly cured; nor 
were his expectations ill grounded: for in ten weeks, 
he was entirely free from pain, made water easily, and 
was no more afflicted with fruitless provocations to 
urinate. And now, April 25, 1763, by persevering in 
this course, he is so perfectly free from all symptoms 
of the complaint, that he considers himself entirely 
cured. 



OUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 293 

Case 2d. A youth twelve years of age, 6f a tender 
constitution and delicate frame, having been frequently 
subject to coughs and other ailments, was suddenly 
attacked with severe pain in the region of the bladder. 
This continued for several days ; during which time he 
frequently cried out as if upon the rack: his water, 
which was very mucus, dropping from him very pain- 
fully, gave strong suspicion of the gravel. The usual 
medicines were given; but in vain. He was next 
sounded by a skilful physician, and a stone was found 
in the bladder. About this time, De Haen's account of 
the uva ursi became public; and this was considered a 
fair case in which to give it a trial. After proper prep- 
arations, half a drachm of the powdered plant was 
given twice a day. For a week, no perceptible relief 
was obtained; but, in three days more the pain abated, 
and the water became less charged with matter. In 
short, by observing a regular diet, and by a steady per- 
severance in the medicine, he is now so entirely well, that 
an operation for extracting the stone by the knife, is no 
longer thought of. 

Case 3d. A gentleman near forty years old, of a 
good constitution, living in a place supplied with water 
of a bad quality, became afflicted with the gravel to a 
very painful degree. He frequently passed small stones, 
of a sandy substance, which he could plainly perceive 
to fall from his kidneys, where they seemed to be gen- 
erated, through the ureters into the bladder— always 
exciting, during their descent, intolerable misery. All 
the most celebrated measures adapted to such com- 
plaints, were fairly tried. Little or no relief was 
obtained. The matter voided in his urine gave suspi- 
cion of decay in the kidneys. The uva ursi was there- 
fore advised, nnd continued in the dose of half a drachm 



294 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

twice a day ; by which, with regular and abstemious 
diet, the patient in three months became perfectly well. 
I consider the foregoing cases, to which as I have 
before remarked, many others might be added from 
excellent authorities, entirely conclusive as to the medi- 
cinal virtues of the una ursi — for a particular descrip- 
tion of which, together with some other cases of cures 
in stone and gravel, I most strongly and seriously refer 
the reader. 



SUPPRESSION OR STOPPAGE OF URINE. 

This is a disease, which is frequently produced by 
inflammation of the urethra, or canal which conveys 
the water from the bladder : it is also sometimes produ- 
ced, as I have mentioned under "Inflammation of the 
bladder," by falls in various ways, and by that false 
delicacy, which induces a bashful and inexperienced 
person, to retain the urine an unusual and dangerous 
length of time. It is also produced, among those who 
have worn down their manhood in indiscriminate 
debaucheries in early life, and sometimes among those 
who are naturally of delicate and weakly constitutions, 
by taking too large quantities of the tincture of Spanish 
flies, for purposes which I forbear to name. It also, 
sometimes, arises from the necessary application of blis- 
ters, and not unfrequently from costiveness or constipa- 
tion of the bowels. 

REMEDIES. 

Draw some blood ; this will relieve the system. Then 
put the patient in a warm bath, which must be contin- 
ued from a quarter to a half hour. Next give a warm 
clyster, made of starch and water, in which must be 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICIxNE. 295 

mixed three table-spoonsful of castor oil. For the warm 
bath, and clystering, look under the heads. If it seems 
to be necessary, after these remedies, give a dose of 
castor oil by the mouth. If all these means fail of 
producing a flow of urine, the catheter must be skil- 
fully and cautiously used: for which, look under the 
head. Throwing cold water on the belly and thighs, 
will sometimes afford relief, when all other remedies 
have failed. A clyster of warm water, in which tobacco 
leaves have been steeped for a few minutes, is an excel- 
lent remedy ; it must however be used with great caution ; 
being very powerful in its effects, it must be made very 
weak — and should by no means be repeated, unless 
under the direction of a physician. Its immediate 
effects are — a general relaxation of the whole system, 
accompanied with prostration of muscular power, faint- 
ness, and sickness of the stomach ; profuse sweat breaks 
out over the whole body ; and if the remedy succeeds, 
the urine is immediately evacuated. 



GREAT FLOW OF URINE. 

This complaint is called by physicians diabetes. — 
The word diabetes is derived from two Greek words, 
which signify — to pass through: and, I mention the 
fact merely to show, how little connexion there usually 
is, between the derivation of words and their real mean- 
ing. The quantity of water usually discharged in 
(1 iabetes, is more than double the liquid taken in both 
drink and food. The attacks of this disease are gener- 
ally slow and gradual. I have known instances, in 
which it lias been more than two years in making its 
advances on the constitution. The symptoms of diabe- 



296 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE, 

tes are — larger and more frequent discharges of water 
from the bladder than common ; the urine is clear and 
transparent as spring water; and having a sweetish and 
sickish taste, like sugar and water, accompanied by a 
faint smell, as if mixed with rosemary leaves* These 
symptoms generally occur without pain — and are usually 
attended with a voracious or greedy appetite. When 
this disease occurs on young persons, or is attended to 
in grown individuals at any period, it can frequently be 
removed ; but, when suffered to proceed for any length 
of time, or when it attacks persons in advanced age, or 
those who have indulged to excess in spirituous liquors, 
it is extremely difficult of removal. As this disease 
increases on the constitution, for I certainly consider it 
a constitutional complaint, the whole body becomes 
emaciated, and gradually wastes away; the mind 
becomes dull and melancholy ; the patient has a strong 
aversion to motion and exercise; there are frequent 
darting pains in the privates, accompanied with a dull 
and heavy pain in the small of the back; nearly con- 
stant thirst, which it seems impossible to satisfy; the 
bowels are costive, and the pulse irregular; as the dis- 
ease advances, fever takes place, similar to that in hectic 
and consumptive cases, the feet begin to swell, and 
death usually closes the scene. The favorable symp- 
toms in this disease are the following: the appetite 
becomes more natural, and the thirst diminishes ; the 
urine is voided in small quantities, and the desire to 
make water less frequent ; the water assumes its natural 
color, and regains its usual smell ; the skin becomes 
more flexible or soft, and is suffused or covered with 
gentle and natural sweat; the mind gradually becomes 
more cheerful, and the desire for exercise increases: 
when these symptoms manifest themselves, there arp 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 297 

always great hopes of speedy recovery. The bodies 
of many persons who have died of diabetes, have been 
accurately examined by skilful anatomists: and the 
results have always shown, diseased state of the kid- 
neys and their vessels, and consequent derangement of 
their secretions — in plain language, and I am supported 
in the opinion by the celebrated Rush, and several 
other physicians of note, diabetes is a consumption of 
the kidneys* 

REMEDIES. 
Emetics or pukes are frequently to be given in this 
disease, and much dependence may be placed on 
them for a cure. Ipecacuanha is perhaps the best 
puke that can be given: see table for dose. Blisters 
are to be applied to the small v of the back, and kept 
continually running: and a Dover's powder is to be 
given at night, which will produce a determination to 
the surface, or in other words a gentle sweat: to pre- 
pare these powders, look under the head Dover's 
powders. Use the warm bath frequently, and have the 
whole body rubbed well twice a day with a flesh brush, 
or coarse towel; the rubbing should at least continue 
half an hour to benefit your patient. Flannel must be 
worn next the skin. The tincture of cantharides, cau- 
tiously administered, is a valuable remedy, and should 
be given to a grown person, from eight to ten, and 
twelve drops, every four or five hours, in a little cold 
water, or in water in which some gum has been dis- 
solved: wild cherry tree gum, or peach tree gum will 
answer. Astringents may be serviceable in this com- 
plaint, and should be tried agreeably to the following 
directions: — Alum dissolved in water, and occasionally 
given throughout the day, as the stomach may bear it 
without inconvenience or unpleasant feelings, will be 

38 



298 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

serviceable: or sugar of lead, given in a grain and a 
half to two grains, twice a day in cold water, for 
grown persons, has afforded much relief and expedited 
the cure: for the dose of alum or sugar of lead, see 
table for the doses adapted for different ages. When 
it is possible to obtain chalybeate water, or in other 
words spring water impregnated or mixed with iron, 
you should direct your patient to use the water freely. 
East Tennessee abounds with those springs, on almost 
every branch or rivulet. As there is an acid of the 
stomach, which frequently accompanies the complaint, 
it will be proper to give your patient weak lime water, 
or chalk, or soda powders: look under that head, and 
you will see how soda powders are made. If fever is 
present in this disease, which is sometimes the case, the 
loss of a little blood occasionally will be proper. Your 
patient is to use no strong drink of any kind ; to eat no 
vegetable food, but live on animal food ; to avoid cold 
and exposure of every kind ; and to defend the feet and 
body well against the damp air — and, in good weather, 
to take moderate exercise. In my practice, I use the 
uva ursi tea, and have derived great benefit from it: I 
therefore recommend it with the utmost confidence. 
By the use of emetics, with this tea, and frequent bath- 
ing in warm water, if commenced at an early period, 
a cure may be speedily expected — (Read under the 
head uva ursi, for a description of this plant, how it 
may be obtained, and how to use it.) The bowels are 
to be moderately purged, and kept open by castor oil; 
or by rhubarb, either by chewing it, or taking it in 
powder. Rhubarb is preferable to castor oil in this 
disease, and should be used if it can be obtained. 
(Look under the head rhubarb, for explanation of its 
qualities, and see table for doses.) Doct. Samuel Sair, 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 299 

lately read to the Academy of Medicine in France, an 
interesting memoir on this subject. He refers most 
cases of incontinence or involuntary flow of urine, or 
diabetes, to a want of equilibrium in power, between 
the body of the bladder and its neck; in other words, 
when the muscular power of the neck of the bladder, 
is so much weakened or relaxed, as not to retain the 
urine against the contractible power of the bladder 
itself. With this view of the subject, he imagined 
that if he could stimulate the neck of the bladder, and 
not the body of it, he could succeed. He introduced, 
by means of a catheter, some tincture of cantharides, 
so as to touch the urethra in its prostatic part, and also 
the neck of the bladder: by this process, he cured three 
patients who labored under this disease. When this 
remedy is to be resorted to, the aid of a skilful physi- 
cian will be required. 



ERUPTIONS OF THE SKIN. 

The close connexion which exists, between the 
stomach, skin, and bowels, is evidently demonstrated 
by the simple fact, that in many instances where the 
bowels are internally disordered, the skin exhibits exter- 
nal evidence of disease. The many eruptions which 
show themselves on the face, hand, legs, and bodies of 
individuals, are positive proofs of the deranged state of 
their systems internally: — and by removing the prima- 
ry or first causes, you invariably remove those eruptions, 
which are in general mere effects. You should, there- 
fore, always endeavor to ascertain, whether those dis- 
eases of the skin are not produced by some impure 
state of the blood, from a foul stomach, from costive 



300 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE, 

bowels, or from some constitutional disease derived 
from parents. If either of those causes produce erup- 
tions of the skin, you will easily see that they are to be 
removed by internal remedies — I mean those which 
strike at their roots: for, if you should succeed in dri- 
ving in the eruptions of the skin, by merely external 
remedies, you will always produce fever, and almost 
invariably seat some fatal diseases on the vital organs. 
Whenever diseases exhibit their effects on the skin, 
you may be assured that they are efforts of nature to 
relieve herself from oppression ; and, the real business 
of a physician is to assist nature, and never to retard 
or stifle her operations. 

REMEDIES. 
The first great and important rule, in all eruptive 
disorders of the skin, is to open the bowels and keep 
them in a laxative state, by cooling medicines ; such as 
epsom salts, or equal quantities of cream and tartar 
and sulphur. If the stomach is out of order, there 
being a close connexion between it and the skin, a 
gentle emetic will sometimes be necessary to cleanse 
the stomach, and to assist nature in throwing the whole 
disease on the surface, where it may expire and fall off 
in scabs. Tea, made of sassafras, or sarsaparilla, should 
always be used as a common drink. Whenever fever 
takes place, which is sometimes the case, draw some 
blood from the arms, and give an active purge of calo- 
mel at night, followed by a dose of epsom salts in the 
morning. Common starch rubbed on the skin, in all 
kinds of eruptions, is a cooling and pleasant remedy; 
and the application of it on going to bed, will produce 
much relief from the itching, and consequently easy 
and refreshing sleep. Persons who are subject to 
eruptions of the skin, should live on light and cooling 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 301 

diet: avoid salted provisions, and every thing of a heat- 
ing nature ; avoid spirituous liquors, and use cooling acid 
drinks — and, by all means, keep the skin clean by fre- 
quent warm or tepid bathing. 



SAINT ANTHONY'S FIRE. 

This disease is called by physicians, erysipelas: — it 
is of an inflammatory character, and always attended 
with some fever. The skin burns and itches very much, 
and usually turns to a scarlet color. It generally com- 
mences in a red blotch, and quickly extends itself over 
the whole body. Sometimes the face swells very much, 
and becomes inflamed: there is, also, head-ache, sick- 
ness at the stomach; and not unfrequently, violent fever 
attended with delirium. 

REMEDIES. 

This disease is attended with inflammatory symptoms, 
and like others of the same character, must be treated 
by moderate bleeding, cooling purges, and cooling 
drinks. Bathe the feet and legs frequently in warm 
water, and remain in your room, so as not to be expo- 
sed to damp cold air, by which the disease might be 
struck inwardly. Every two or three hours, give equal 
quantities of antimonial wine and sweet spirits of 
nitre, in doses of a tea-spoonful, in a stem-glass of cold 
water. If the head-ache is very severe, the loss of some 
blood, a blister between the shoulders, and poultices made 
of mustard seed and corn meal, will give relief Sprink- 
ling the body with fine starch, or with wheat flour, will 
greatly assist to cool and allay the irritation. A tea- 
spoonful ofsugnr of lend, put in three half pints of cold 



302 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

water and used as a remedy by washing the body, is also 
a valuable application. 



TETTER OR RING WORM. 

This is a disease confined to the skin, for which med- 
icines are seldom given internally. It first appears as 
an inflammatory eruption of small magnitude, not larger 
than the finger nail, and gradually extends itself into a 
circle, which sometimes embraces the hands, sometimes 
the face, and not unfrequently large portions of the 
body. Unless relieved, it at length becomes extremely 
painful, and is attended with an itching sensation, which 
is greatly increased by the least warmth or exercise. 
REMEDIES. 

Puccoon-root, called by some persons Blood-root, 
and by others Indian paint, steeped in strong vinegar, 
and applied as a wash to the parts affected, is a most 
excellent remedy — perhaps the best one known in this 
disease. The blue die, made by the country people to 
color their cloth, has been sometimes known to remove 
it, when many other remedies had failed: this must be 
owing to the indigo and urine the die contains. I do 
not recollect, however, one single case in my practice in 
Virginia, in which the puccoon-root and vinegar failed. 
In France, the application of the fumes of sulphur is 
always resorted to with success, in all diseases of the 
skin: — (read under the head sulphuric fumigation.) 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 303 

SCALD HEAD. 

In this disease, the whole scalp or skin of the head 
is covered with small sores, which discharge very offen- 
sive matter. These sores eventually turn to little scales 
or seals, while fresh ones continue to break out at the 
roots of the hair, and follow the same process of turning 
to scales and falling off. This disorder is infectious or 
catching, and is often taken by children, in consequence 
of wearing the hat or cap of a person affected with it. 
Sleeping in the same bed, or combing with the same 
comb, when a child has constitutionally a scrophulous 
taint, will also communicate the disease ; which is some- 
times tedious and difficult to cure. 
REMEDIES. 

First shave off the hair as close as possible ; then 
cleanse the sores daily with warm soap-suds, and put 
on the following ointment, which must be spread on a 
bladder, and worn as a cap. Take two table-spoonsful 
of tar, and a sufficient quantity of suet or lard to make 
an ointment; to these add a table-spoonful of powdered 
charcoal, and two tea-spoonsful of sulphur. The bow- 
els must be kept open with epsom salts, and a tea made 
of sarsaparilla and sassafras drank freely ; these meas- 
ures will purify the blood. Once or twice a week, 
bathe the whole body in water of a pleasant tempera- 
ture. Doctor Chapman of Philadelphia, one of the 
Professors of that University, recommends highly the 
following remedy: Take of liver of sulphur, three 
drachms ; of Spanish soap, one drachm ; of lime water, 
eight ounces, and of rectified spirits of wine, two 
drachms: mix them well together, and use the whole as 
a wash. — (Where the remedies I have mentioned fail, 
look under the head of sulphuric fumigation, for a cer- 
tain remedy in all diseases of the skin.) 



304 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

TOOTH ACHE. 

This disease does not always arise from decayed 
teeth ; it is frequently the offspring of nervous affections, 
of cold, of rheumatism, and not unfrequently, among 
females, of stoppages of certain evacuations. I have 
known many sound teeth to be extracted unnecessarily, 
and on account of diseases which were afterwards dis- 
covered to be seated in other parts of the body ; and, I 
therefore earnestly recommend, that great caution be 
used in discovering the causes of tooth ache, before a 
tooth is suffered to be drawn. Tooth ache, in very 
many instances, arises from a disordered state of the 
stomach and bowels. In these cases, the suffering is 
generally severe, and must be removed by attention to 
cleansing the stomach and bowels. Many instances 
have occurred in my practice, where persons have 
requested teeth to be drawn to remove tooth ache, when 
all their teeth on examination were found to be sound. 
In these cases, I have always relieved them by a purge. 
Among women, more than one half of the suffering 
from tooth ache, may be fairly traced to some bodily 
habit, or some nervous sympathy, to which the female 
constitution is peculiarly liable, and which may be remo- 
ved by other means, than the extraction of the teeth. 
Persons who have written before me, on the subject of 
tooth ache, have spoken of the disease as peculiar to, 
and confined to the teeth alone; when the fact is, that 
common sense and experience, will teach any man the 
palpable absurdity of such doctrine, and convince him 
that tooth ache is very frequently a common symptom 
of other diseases, which are to be sought out and remo- 
ved before relief can be obtained. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 305 

REMEDIES. 
When tooth ache is presumed to arise from nervous 
affections, the nervous system is to be strengthened by 
gentle tonics, nutritive and cooling food, and moderate 
exercise in the open air. (When it proceeds from cold 
or from rheumatism, consult those two heads for direc- 
tions to remove it; and, when it arises from stoppages of 
the menses in females, see and consult that head, among 
the diseases of women.) Extracting teeth ought always 
to be the last remedy resorted to; it is a painful opera- 
tion, and oftentimes a dangerous one, when attempted 
by an unskilful and clumsy hand. When a tooth is dis- 
covered to be defective, and that there is inflammation 
at the root, which is the cause of the pain, let the inflam- 
mation be reduced by blistering the surface of the 
cheek, or by scarifying the gums with a lancet, and 
the tooth plugged with gold leaf, or silver or tin foil. 
Tooth ache is frequently owing, to the nerve of the 
tooth being exposed to the air from decay: in this case, 
it is always advisable to avoid the extraction of ihe 
tooth, and to have it plugged as I have just told you, 
with gold leaf, or with silver or tin foil. These arti- 
cles can always be obtained pure. There are cases, in 
which the diseased tooth will not bear the wedging 
pressure of being plugged with gold leaf; in these in- 
stances, pure tin or lead ought to be used. These last 
mentioned articles, however, wear out in a few years ; 
and it is a truth well known, that tin will corrode, rust, 
or turn black in a short time, from the action of the 
acids generally used in food. Gold, in its pure state, is 
always preferable for plugging a tooth; it will some- 
times last twenty years. If the disease arises from 
inflammation, the practice of holding hot and stimula- 
ting articles in the mouth, is highly improper: you will 

39 



306 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

know when it arises from inflammation, by the follow- 
ing indications — you will have head ache, which will 
be attended with fever. Take a full dose of epsom or 
glauber salts, and repeat the dose if necessary. Apply 
to the face cold mush and milk poultices; or those 
made of meal and vinegar, as cold as possible; and, if 
the inflammation runs high, and is attended with fever, 
the loss of some blood will be proper, together with the 
application of a blister over the pained part. Great 
suffering about the teeth, is frequently caused by certain 
nervous pains, to which females are sometimes consti- 
tutionally liable: these cases are to be treated with 
simple remedies, and scrupulous care, until the original 
causes are removed — and you may apply to the face 
some irritating tincture, such as Cayenne pepper, tinc- 
ture of Spanish flies, or volatile liniment. I have said 
before, that tooth ache sometimes arises, though not 
very frequently, from rheumatism: when this is the 
case, the whole sides of the face will be pained, togeth- 
er with the sound as well as the decayed teeth. There 
will also be felt, a dull heavy pain, extending along the 
jaw bone ; and a stiffness of the neck, sometimes atten- 
ded with pain in the shoulder. The following is a good 
remedy: Put a piece of lime, the size of a walnut, into 
a quart bottle of water ; with this rinse the mouth two 
or three times a day — and clean the teeth with it every 
morning until the pain ceases. But, in rheumatic affec- 
tions, of the kind just described, see under the head 
rheumatism. 

The tartar, or scurvy of the teeth, is a very destruc- 
tive disease; it greatly injures the teeth, and frequently 
destroys them, before you are aware of the danger. 
Tartar is an accumulation of earthy matter, deposited 
on the teeth from the saliva or spittle. It collects on 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 307 

the teeth of some persons, much faster than on those of 
others; this is owing to the natural or constitutional 
state of the fluids of the mouth. When first deposited 
on the teeth, it is soft and very easily removed with a 
tooth brush; but, if suffered to remain, it acquires 
hardness by time, and thickens about the necks of the 
teeth. The gums become irritated and inflamed by it; 
the sockets are next destroyed ; and the teeth being left 
bare, without any support, are pressed out by the 
tongue, or fall out. The importance of removing tar- 
tar from the teeth, must be obvious to all: and the 
operation ought always to be performed by a skilful 
person, called a Dentist — or by a physician. To pre- 
vent the accumulation of tartar on the teeth, and to 
restore the healthy state of the gums, nothing more is 
requisite than a stiff brush, and pounded charcoal, 
mixed with an equal quantity of Peruvian bark. The 
use of all acids for the removal of tartar, is a base 
imposition. Acids will, indeed, make the teeth look 
beautifully white for a few days, dissolve and remove 
the tartar, and stop the tooth ache; but, in a few 
months, the teeth will become of a dead chalky white, 
next turn dark colored, then begin to decay and crum- 
ble to pieces, and finally leave their fangs in the sock- 
ets, exposed to pain and inflammation. Milk warm 
water, and the tooth powder I have mentioned, will 
not only preserve the teeth, but correct in a great de- 
gree the offensive effluvia arising from decayed teeth 
and unhealthy gums. 



308 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICI NK. 

ITCH. 

This filthy disease is infectious, or in other words 
catching; and is frequently produced by want of clean- 
liness: it is confined to the skin, and first shows itself 
between the fingers, in small watery pimples, gradually 
extending to the wrists, thighs, and waist. There is a 
constant desire to scratch, which is much increased 
after you become warm in bed. Cleanliness, and early 
attention to this dirty disorder, will prevent its being 
communicated to a whole family: children are apt to 
take it at school, and to communicate it to those with 
whom they sleep. Travellers are apt to take it, from 
sleeping in beds that have been previously occupied by 
persons who have it: therefore, a good caution in tra- 
velling is, to have the sheets and pillow-cases changed. 
Frequent instances occur in travelling, where persons 
of much respectability have taken the itch, and been 
much mortified by it, from want of this precaution. 
REMEDIES. 

Take one drachm, or sixty drops of sulphuric acid, 
which is oil of vitriol: mix it well with one ounce of hogs- 
lard, or fresh butter without salt, will answer. After it 
is well prepared by good rubbing, anoint the parts 
affected until cured; this is an innocent and certain 
remedy for the itch. Or, you may make an ointment 
of a table-spoonful of sulphur, and a table-spoonful of 
lard, or butter without salt, and put in the ointment a 
table-spoonful of the essence of lemon, or a tea-spoon- 
ful of the oil of lemon, which will give it a pleasant 
smell. This ointment must be rubbed on the parts 
affected, three or four nights on going to bed. Sul- 
phur is nothing more than common brimstone purified, 
and pounded fine. Or, you may take one drachm of 
red precipitate, and rub it well in a mortar with an 



CI NN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 301 

ounce of hogs-lard, or butter without salt, and anoint 
the parts affected: (this last is a valuable and certain 
cure.) A strong decoction or tea of Virginia snake- 
root, known generally as black snake-root, will fre- 
quently cure the itch when used as a wash. Tobacco 
leaves steeped in water, and used two or three times a 
day as a wash, will effect a cure; but this remedy must 
be used with caution on children. Water dock grows 
in wet ditches, mill-ponds, and sides of rivers; and 
flowers in July and August. The root boiled in strong 
decoction or tea, and used as a wash, is a good remedy 
for itch ; the narrow and broad leaved dock, found in 
yards and fields, will answer the same purpose. Mercu- 
rial ointment, sometimes called oil of baze, is frequendy 
rubbed on joints for itch; this is highly improper, 
because it frequently salivates, and produces pains in 
the joints and bones for life. 



APOPLECTIC FITS. 

This disease derives its name from a Greek word, 
which signifies to strike or knock down; because those 
affected with it are suddenly prostrated to the earth, and 
deprived of sense and motion. A variety of causes 
have been assigned for Apoplexy ; but, they may all be 
comprised in the following words — whatever deter- 
mines, or throws, so great a quantity of blood on the 
brain, that it cannot return from that vital organ. It is 
not necessary to enumerate those causes, further than to 
remark, that among them are: — violent fits of passion, 
excess of venery, stooping down for any length of time, 
overloading the stomach, and wearing any thing too 
tight about the neck, great cold, and intemperance. 



310 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



Persons most liable to Apoplexy, are such as have short 
necks and large heads. In attacks of Apoplexy in the 
severest form, the blood vessels are found bursted, and 
the blood poured out in various parts of the brain; and, 
when Apoplexy attacks in milder forms, those blood 
vessels are found distended, or swelled with too large a 
quantity of blood. This complaint has deprived the 
republic of some of her greatest ornaments, among 
which were the Hon. De Witt Clinton ; the Irish patriot^ 
Thomas A. Emmet; and William Pinckney, Esq. our 
former minister to London. Intense and protracted 
mental exertion was probably the cause of the death of 
Messrs. Emmet, Pinckney, and Clinton; but, in most 
instances, Apoplexy is to be dreaded by corpulent or 
plethoric persons, — such as I have before named — hav- 
ing large heads and short necks, epicures, gluttons, and 
those who use spirituous liquors to excess. 
REMEDIES. 
The chief remedy in Apoplexy is large and copious 
bleeding, which must be repeated if necessary. Cup- 
ping at the temples ought also to be resorted to, the 
great object being to draw the blood from the head, and 
to relieve the oppression of the brain as speedily as pos- 
sible. The next thing to be attended to, is to give the 
most active purges — see table for doses. Apply cold 
cloths wet in vinegar, and the coldest water constantly 
to the head. If your patient should recover by the 
means directed, in order to escape from a second and 
third attack, the person should scrupulously observe the 
following rules of living: he must eat vegetable food, 
drink no wine nor spirits of any kind, avoid all strong 
and long continued exertions of mind ; and, after the 
full state of the brain has for some time subsided, the 
use of chalybeate waters, such as those of the Harrods- 



UlNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 311 

burgh Springs in Kentucky, will be of much service. 
As this is a common and often fatal disease, I will make 
some further remarks on it. Many physicians have 
commended, and put in practice in this complaint, open- 
ing one of the jugular veins. They imagine, by drawing 
blood from one of these veins, they unload the brain, 
and relieve its blood vessels from distension, and the 
danger of rupture. The fact, however, seems to be 
otherwise. Instead of unloading the vessels by this 
operation, the pressure which is necessary to be made 
on the vein for the purpose of drawing the blood, evi- 
dently retards the return of blood to the heart; and a 
certain and inevitable consequence of this pressure, 
accumulation of blood in the arteries, and greater dis- 
tension of the blood vessels immediately take place. 
To exhibit the force of this reasoning clearly, I will 
make an example of blood letting from the arm. The 
arteries of the arm convey, by the muscular power of 
the heart, all the blood in those arteries to the points of 
the fingers: here the veins take up the same blood, to 
return it again to the heart. Now, when we cord the 
arm tightly in order to draw blood from a vein, what 
are the consequences? Why, we stop the course of 
the blood back to the heart, swell the veins of the arm 
next; and, lastly, distend the whole of the bloodvessels 
of the arm: and are not the same effects produced on 
the blood vessels of the head, by a strong pressure in 
cording .the jugular vein? The above doctrine, as well 
as it can be explained from the words of the great Doc- 
tor Baillie of London, I am induced to consider correct. 
Instead of opening the jugular vein, in cases of emer- 
gency, I would recommend bleeding in the foot. In 
performing this operation, after the bandage has been 
put on, the fool should be put in warm water: the fact 



31'2 UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

is, that warm water applied to both feet, in bleeding for 
Apoplexy, would be attended with considerable advan- 
tage. 



EPILEPTIC FITS. 

This disease diners from Apoplexy, by the former 
having convulsions, and frothy spittle issuing from the 
mouth. The ancients give it the name of the sacred 
disease, because it affected the mind, the most noble 
part of the rational creature. These fits last from ten 
minutes to half an hour, depending on their violence: 
they always leave the sufferer in a stupor, attended with 
great weakness and exhaustion of the body. Epileptic 
fits arise from the following causes: — Original or natural 
defects; in other words, defects derived from nature, 
and severe blows on the head. When the disease ari- 
ses from either, or both of these causes in combination, 
it is seldom if ever cured. But, when it proceeds from 
any of the following causes, cures may be effectuated 
by medicine, proper diet, &c. In children, when it 
proceeds from worms, cutting teeth, impure and acrid 
matter in the stomach and bowels, eruptions of the skin 
which suddenly strike in, and sores on the head which 
are too quickly healed up, relief may be obtained by 
medical means. Relief may also be had in the cases of 
grown persons, afflicted from the too free use of spirit- 
uous liquors, from violent excitements of those passions 
which affect the nervous system, from stoppages of the 
menses in women, and those who have not yet had their 
courses according to nature. This disease is sometimes 
although not often, produced by great debility or weak- 
ness: and sometimes bv onanism. 



GVXN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 313 

REMEDIES. 
In fits of this kind, a few days previous to the expect- 
ed attack, draw blood from the foot; and every night 
on going to bed, bathe the feet some time in warm 
water, so as to prevent too great a determination of 
blood to the head, as these fits generally attack persons 
during sleep. If considered necessary, give an emetic 
or puke to cleanse the stomach, followed by an active 
purge to act on the bowels — see table for dose. These 
fits generally occur about the change or full of the 
moon. The singular and surprising influence, which 
this planet is known to exercise in many instances over 
the human species, is absolutely unaccountable, and 
is even ridiculed by many physicians ; but I feel fully 
confident, from reflection and experience, that this planet 
has considerable control over certain diseases to which 
the human system is liable— one or two of which I will 
notice. The monthly courses of women, at particular 
times, are evidently under its influence: madness, or 
mental derangement, is in many cases greatly increased 
at the changes of the moon ; and it is well known to 
almost every person, that the periodical return of epi- 
leptic fits is generally about the full and change.— 
These circumstances certainly denote some secret and 
mysterious agency, which is concealed from human 
knowledge. On a full examination of the different 
remedies recommended in epileptic fits, where they 
arise from circumstances which can be traced to some 
particular cause, please to refer to the different heads, 
remembering always, that when you expect to effect a 
cure, it can only be done by removing the cause. I 
have mentioned emphatically, bleeding in the foot, and 
the warm bath ; these will remove the blood from the 
brain, when harsher means have failed. The bowels 

40 



314 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

must be kept in a laxative state, by epsom salts, castor 
oil or mild clysters — see table for doses and head clys- 
ters. By permitting the bowels to be the least bound, 
you subject the person to much risk of having a fit. 
An issue, or a seton in the neck, something resembling 
a rowel, and kept continually discharging, is a good 
remedy in fits. The use of tartar emetic ointment, is 
a remedy resorted to in the hospitals of Europe with 
success: I have tried it in two cases; it succeeded in 
one and failed in the other: this, however, is the usual 
fate of most remedies applied in this disease. Setons 
always lessen the fits in number and severity, and the 
tartar emetic ointment sometimes removes the com- 
plaint ; they are, therefore, both worthy of a fair trial. 
For the mode of preparing this ointment, and the man- 
ner of using it, look under that head — and for issues or 
setons, see that head. All that can be done during the 
fit, is to prevent the person from injuring himself, by 
placing a bit of soft wood between the teeth, and 
unclenching the hands. The following remedies should 
be tried separately, and with moderation, where there is 
any hope of success: — plunge the whole body in a 
strong bath made of salt and water, a few mornings in 
succession, before an attack is expected ; or, you may 
give spirits of turpentine, in small doses, on an empty 
stomach ; or take the person afflicted through a gradual 
and moderate salivation with mercury. 

Doctor Currie, an eminent physician, speaks highly 
of the Digitalis or Fox-glove, as a remedy in this com- 
plaint; but it must be used with caution. Five or six 
drops of tincture, increased two drops every five or six 
days, ought to be given — see table for doses. The bow- 
els must be kept open with senna and manna. JJoctor 
Wharton, of Shenandoah county, Virginia, a man of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



315 



distinguished abilities, administered it with great suc- 
cess—see page 181, Medical Recorder. Persons who 
are subject to these fits, should avoid all strong and 
heating food, together with all kinds of spirituous 
liquors. Hog meat meat should never be used as food 
in any way ; nor should any thing difficult of digestion 
ever be eaten. Moderate exercise must be taken, and 
every thing is to be avoided which is calculated to pro- 
duce melancholy, because the mind and passions have 
great influence on the nervous system. 



PALSY. 
Palsy is a disease, attended with the loss or dimi- 
nution of the power of voluntary motion. It sometimes 
affects one part of the body, and sometimes another — 
but in whatever part of the system it prevails, there will 
always be a numbness, and almost entire want of feel- 
ing, and a loss of power to move the part affected. 
This disease may arise from Apoplexy; from any thing 
that prevents the flow of the nervous fluid from the 
brain to the organs of motion; from luxurious and 
intemperate living; from the suppression of certain 
evacuations, such as are mentioned in epileptic fits ; 
from spasmodic affections or cramps; from too frequent 
intercourse with women, by which the nervous system 
is much weakened ; from exposure to cold ; from affec- 
tions of the spinal marrow; from any mechanical 
compression ; in fact, from whatever has a tendency to 
weaken and relax the system in an extreme degree. 
Dissections frequently show collections of blood, and 
sometimes of serous or watery fluid, effused or spread 
out on the brain; and what is something singular, these 



316 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

collections and effusions, are generally found on the 
opposite side of the brain from the parts of the body 
affected. 

REMEDIES. 
In no cases of palsy should bleeding be resorted to, 
unless the patient is of a stout and full habit of body, 
and where the disease originating in the head, causes a 
great determination of blood to the vessels of the brain. 
In all other cases, bleeding is of much more injury than 
benefit. Where the person is of a full habit, and there 
is much determination of blood to the head, in addition 
to bleeding in the first stage of the attack, active purges 
will be very beneficial. If, on the contrary, the person 
is of a delicate and weakly habit of body, is considera- 
bly advanced in life, or if the disease has affected the 
system for a time, bleeding and very active purges should 
never be used ; it will be sufficient here to keep the 
lower bowels gently open, by mild and at the same time, 
stimulating clysters — see the head clysters. The fact is, 
that constipation of the bowels on the one hand, and 
excessive laxness on the other, are extremes equally to 
be avoided in palsy. Constipation or costiveness of 
bowels, always oppresses the brain with an accumula- 
tion of blood, which must be relieved: — and too much 
purging with very laxative medicines, invariably weak- 
ens the system greatly, and as I have somewhere before 
remarked, produces morbid irritability. Palsy, with the 
exception of the cases I have mentioned, must be treat- 
ed with tonic or strengthening medicines. Every second 
or third night take two grains of calomel, and three of 
ground ginger, in a little honey: these doses are to be 
continued, until there is a copperish taste in the mouth ; 
here you must stop taking them. During all this time, 
you are to have the affected parts well rubbed with a 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 317 

brush, for half an hour three times a day; and you are 
also, once a day, to bathe in strong salt and water, made 
pleasantly warm. — See page 158, where you will find 
that out of 996 cases of palsy, 813 were benefitted by 
the warm bath. Blisters are also very beneficial in this 
disease, one of which ought to be placed between the 
shoulders, on the inside of each ancle, and one over 
the part affected: they should all be kept continually 
running, by the application of some irritating ointment. 
An issue or seton in the neck is also highly recom- 
mended, especially where the disease has originated 
from apoplexy. 

I have found great benefit in palsy, by using on the 
affected parts, the following liniment: — one ounce of 
spirits of hartshorn, one table-spoonful of spirits of 
turpentine, one table-spoonful of the tincture of Spanish 
flies, made by steeping the flies in whiskey. These 
articles are to be mixed in half a pint of sweet oil, and 
well rubbed on the parts affected three times a day. If 
these articles cannot be had, bathe the parts in whiskey, 
in which cayenne pepper has been steeped so as to 
make it strong of the pepper. Use horse radish free- 
ly with your food, and take thirty-five drops of spirits 
of turpentine, on a lump of sugar three times a day. 
As soon as practicable, take exercise in the open air, 
and when on the recovery make use of water impreg- 
nated with iron, and use your bath cold instead of 
warm, in the manner of a shower bath: — see that head: 
the water should be mixed with salt. I will remark in 
conclusion, that electrifying or shocking in this disease, 
is very highly recommended, as is also the method of 
cure resorted to with great success in Austria, France 
and Germany, which is the use of the sulphur bath, 
by which 073 cases were cured in the hospitals of 



318 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

Paris, and 484 in those of Vienna. — See head Sul- 
phuric Bath. 



ASTHMA. 

In this disease, from an extensive experience, I 
unhesitatingly say, that Ashthma when once firmly 
seated in the system, is a complaint that may be pallia- 
ted but never entirely removed by medicine. When 
the disease attacks young persons, abstemious diet and 
due exercise are the best remedies for subduing its vio- 
lence; but, an entire and permanent cure of the com- 
plaint, is only to be expected from the spontaneous and 
powerful efforts of nature herself. In aged persons, 
where the disease is of long standing, great care and 
attention are required to lessen the severity of the 
attacks; this is nearly all that can be done by the 
boasted powers of medicine, when the disease has be- 
come obstinate by age. Many physicians have assert- 
ed, that Asthma is a nervous disease; the contrary 
however, has been established, by many dissections in 
the hospitals of Paris, and other cities of Europe. 
Corvisart, Baumes and Rostan, besides many others, 
allege that Asthma depends on a morbid or diseased 
alteration in the organs of breathing or respiration and 
circulation, by which congestions or collections of 
blood in the lungs are procured. Rostan, particularly, 
gives in evidence of this opinion the following facts: — 
he says in substance, that the bodies of many who had 
died of Asthma, were opened immediately after death, 
and that in all of them alterations in the structure of 
the heart and arteries, were found combined with ex- 
tensive congestive diseases of the lungs, proving that 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 319 

disorder of the heart and large blood vessels, have 
much greater influence in the production of Asthma 
than is generally supposed. The symptoms of Asthma 
are, difficult breathing or respiration for a time, suc- 
ceeded by short intervals of comparative ease, which- 
are followed by attacks similar to the first, in many 
cases amounting almost to suffocation ; a great tightness 
across the breast, and in the region of the lungs; 
a wheezing noise in breathing, attended by a hard 
cough at first, which gradually diminishes in toughness, 
until a white stringy tough mucus is discharged from 
the throat and mouth, accompanied perhaps by a gen- 
tle moisture on the skin. Persons subject to periodical 
attacks of Asthma, generally know the approach of 
those attacks, by the following symptoms and sensa- 
tions: — depression of spirits amounting to melancholy; 
sense of fullness and distention about the stomach, 
attended with uneasy and restless feelings ; drowsiness 
accompanied by head ache, and a sense of tightness or 
constriction across the breast. These indications usual- 
ly occur about the close of the day, increase in severity 
during the night, and sensibly diminish towards morn- 
ing. 

REMEDIES. 
Bleeding must never be resorted to in Asthma: — 
although it is frequently practiced by physicians, it is 
altogether wrong, and must always be avoided. The 
reason is obvious, and particularly so in the cases of 
persons advanced in age. Bleeding retards, in fact, it 
prevents expectoration by the mouth and throat; in 
other words, it prevents hawking and spitting up mucus 
from the throat and lungs, which always give relief in 
Asthma, So soon as symptoms of an attack arc felt, 
which 1 have just described, give a mild emetic or 



320 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

puke; this will always shorten the attack — during 
which the feet must be bathed in warm water, and the 
steam of warm vinegar inhaled, or breathed from the 
spout of a coffee-pot. Stew down, over a slow fire, 
half an ounce of seneka snake root in a pint of water, 
after bruising it with a hammer, to half a pint: of this, 
take a table-spoonful every ten or fifteen minutes, and 
drink a small glass of warm toddy. I have frequently 
afforded relief in a short time, by merely bathing the 
feet and giving plentifully of warm toddy. The Indian 
tobacco is a valuable remedy in this complaint, used in 
the following manner: take of the leaves, stem and 
pods, nearly as much as you can hold grasped between 
the fore finger and thumb ; put it into a bottle of whis- 
key, and in five days the liquor will be fit for use; of 
which give a tea-spoonful every half hour until relief 
is obtained. When this complaint attacks young men, 
for it is much more apt to attack men than women, 
they should rise early and take active exercise, partic- 
ularly by ascending the highest and steepest hills and 
mountains, where they can breast the pure mountain 
breeze. These people should always rise from a hard 
bed instead of a soft one, and swallow a raw egg be- 
fore walking. To persons severely afflicted with this 
disease in advanced life, smoking the dried root of the 
Jamestown weed will be beneficial, as will also smoking 
the dried root of the skunk cabbage. Look under the 
head Jamestown weed, where this plant is described: 
it must always be used gradually, and with some cau- 
tion. Baron Brady states, that he cured himself of 
Asthma of twenty-one years standing, by the internal 
use of mustard seed, of which he took every morning 
and evening a tea-spoonful in tea or broth. Doctor 
Pitschaft says he derived much benefit from the inter- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICLKE. 321 

ual use of mustard, in pectoral disorders attended with 
cough, and excessive mucus expectoration. 



SORE LEGS. 

Sore legs frequently arise from the imprudent neglect 
of bruises; and, from trifling sores, which are permit- 
ted to become inflamed, and finally ulcerous. Sore 
legs, like consumptions, and other diseases which 
descend frorn parents to children, sometimes run in 
families for several generations: — when they run in 
families, it is generally in such families as are addicted 
to King's Evil, Scrofula or Scurvy. Doctor Rush 
says, that he considers them, in many instances, as 
arising from general debility, or weakness operating on 
the whole system, but centering more particularly on 
the legs. Persons who have been afflicted any length 
of time with ulcerous sore legs, or indeed with ulcers 
situated any where else, if of long standing, should be 
cautious how they heal them suddenly, without purify- 
ing and preparing the system for the change ; — because 
the sudden suppression of a habitual discharge, with- 
out this previous purification, almost invariably seats 
some new disease on a vital organ, or produces death 
by apoplexy. 

REMEDIES. 

The first and important remedy in Sore Legs, is to 
keep them perfectly clean, by frequently washing them 
with soap and water. Doctor Rush says, and I per- 
fectly agree with him in opinion, that the great success 
of old women in curing Sore Legs, arises more from 
keeping the ulcers clean, than from any peculiar effica- 
cy of their medical applications. Where Sore Legs 

41 



322 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

have been of any long standing, it is of importance, as 
I have told you before, to attend to purging and purify- 
ing the whole system, with frequent doses of epsom 
salts. Nitre or saltpetre, given in doses of ten, fifteen 
or twenty grains, three times a day in a little cold 
water, will be found a useful and cooling medicine. 
Pouring cold water on the sores three times a day, is 
an excellent application ; but, it must be done on an 
empty stomach. Poultices of light wheat bread and 
milk, applied as cold as possible, will reduce the inflam- 
mation, or fever: — so will, also, a poultice of slippery 
elm bark pounded well, and moistened before being 
applied. A wash of white oak bark, in old ulcers, is 
a valuable remedy. I have succeeded in curing old 
sores, when every other means had been tried in vain, 
by the application of common tow to the ulcer, and 
kept wet with new milk. A salve made of Jamestown 
weed, will be found an excellent remedy, as will also a 
salve made of the common elder bark. When the 
sores are sluggish, and refuse to heal, a poultice made 
of common garden carrots will be found of great utili- 
ty. Should proud flesh take place, after washing the 
sores with castile soap-suds, sprinkle a little red pre- 
cipitate on the sores, or a little calomel, or a little 
burnt allum, or dissolve a little blue vitriol, (blue 
stone,) in water, and wet the ulcers with it. 

In Sore Legs of long standing, moderate exercise 
should be taken, and tight bandages applied, commen- 
cing at the toes and winding up the leg, which will 
give due support to the vessels. In such cases, tonic 
or strengthening medicines are necessary, such as 
barks, iron rust, &c. &c, with a moderately nourishing 
food. The use of opium, (see table for dose,) will be 
a useful medicine in allaying the pain, and invigorating 



GUNNiS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 323 

the whole system. Rest, in a lying posture, should 
always be particularly attended to, in all cases of Sore 
Legs; and the diet should be cooling, accompanied 
with pure air. Every thing of a heating and stimula- 
ting nature should be avoided, particularly ardent 
spirits. In some old ulcerations of the legs, nitric acid, 
(aqua fortis) very weak, is sometimes taken internally, 
and also applied outwardly as a wash for the sores. 
Charcoal will correct the smell, and purify the sores ; or 
if made into a poultice is an excellent application to 
ill-conditioned ulcers. Water dock, which grows in 
wet, boggy soils, and on the banks of ditches, boiled to 
a strong decoction, is a good wash for old ulcers ; and, 
an ointment made by simmering the root in hog's lard, 
i s a valuable remedy, derived from the Indians. 



PILES. 

There are two kinds of Piles, originating from very 
nearly the same causes: one is called the bleeding 
Piles, and the other the blind Piles. The Piles are 
small swelled tumors, of rather a dark appearance, 
usually situated on the edge of the fundament. Where 
there is a discharge of blood from these tumors, when 
you go to stool, the disease is called bleeding Piles ; 
but, when there is only a swelling on the edge of the 
fundament, or some little distance up the gut, and no 
bleeding when you evacuate the bowels, the disease is 
called the blind Piles. Both men and women are sub- 
ject to Piles ; but women more particularly, during the 
last stages of pregnancy, in which the womb presses on 
the rectum or gut. In passing the stool, you can plain- 
ly feel these tumors, which extend from the edge of the 



324 GUNNHS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

fundament, to an inch or more upward, if you have 
them severe: — when these burst and bleed, the person 
is very much relieved ; and when the pain is excessive, 
it is apt to produce some fever. Many persons are 
constitutionally subject to this disease through life. It 
is, however, generally brought on by costiveness, or 
having irregular stools. Piles are also produced, by 
riding a great deal on horse back in warm weather; by 
the use of highly seasoned food ; by sedentary habits, 
in other words, want of exercise ; by the use of spiritu- 
ous liquors to excess; and by the use of aloes as a 
purge, if constantly taken for any length of time to 
remove costiveness: — therefore, persons subject to 
costiveness, should particularly avoid aloes. 
REMEDIES. 
Cold water is one of the best remedies that can be 
applied in this complaint: — nor will any person ever be 
afflicted much with bleeding or blind Piles, who will 
bathe the fundament well, with cold spring water daily, 
or with iced water to prevent, or to relieve the disease 
if formed. I have known many persons who have 
exempted themselves from this painful disorder, merely 
by bathing twice a day in the coldest water. For 
those, who from laziness or neglect, omit to use this 
simple and powerful precaution, I shall proceed to give 
the usual remedies. When there is a fever attending 
piles, it will be proper to lose a little blood, and to take 
a dose of epsom salts or castor oil: — for doses see 
table. Purging and bleeding should be repeated, if 
the inflammatory or feverish symptoms do not subside. 
If the pain is violent, bathe the fundament with some 
laudanum, say a tea-spoonful of laudanum, mixed in 
a table-spoonful of cold water; or, set over a tub, in 
which some tar has been heated or set on fire, so that 



a 



GUNN,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 325 

the steam may sweat the fundament; this steaming 
should continue some time, and be frequently repeated. 
Sweet oil applied to the fundament is a good remedy ; 
and cooling applications of sugar of lead are also good, 
made by putting a tea-spoonful of the lead into a pint 
of spring water, and bathing the parts frequently with 
it. Mercurial ointment, otherwise called oil of baze, 
is a fine remedy ; and, by greasing the parts with a 
small quantity three times a day, speedy relief will be 
obtained in a short time. The root of the Jamestown 
weed, made into a salve, and the fundament greased 
with it, will also afford speedy relief from pain. All 
persons subject to Piles, should live on light diet of a 
cooling nature, avoid costiveness, and use plenty of 
cold water in bathing, as before directed. 



PUTRID SORE THROAT. 

In this infectious or catching disease, the respiration 
or breathing becomes hurried, and the breath hot and 
offensive. The swallowing becomes more and more 
difficult; the skin burning and disagreeably hot, with- 
out the least moisture; and the pulse very quick and 
irregular; the mouth and throat assume a fiery red 
color, and the palate and glands of the throat much 
swelled. Blotches, of a dark red color, appear on the 
face about the third or fourth day, which gradually 
increase.in size, and soon spread over the whole body. 
On examining the throat at this stage of the disease, 
you will discover small brown spots inside of the throat, 
which soon become deep sores or ulcers; a brownish 
fur covers the tongue : the lips have small watery pirn- 



326 CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

pies on them, which soon break and produce sores, the 
matter of which is of an acrid nature. If the disease 
is not immediately relieved, it soon terminates fatally, 
from the fifth to the seventh day. As the disease 
advances, the following symptoms denote an unfavora- 
ble and fatal termination. Purging a black matter, of 
a very offensive and fetid smell ; the hands and feet 
becoming cold ; the eruptions becoming of a dark livid 
color, or suddenly disappearing ; the inside of the mouth 
and throat assuming a dark hue ; the pulse becoming 
small, quick and fluttering ; the breathing much hurried, 
with an almost constant sighing ; and a cold and clam- 
my sweat. When Putrid Sore Throat is about termin- 
ating favorably, the skin becomes gradually soft and 
moist, denoting the abatement of fever ; the eruption on 
the skin becomes of a redish color over the whole body ; 
the breathing becomes more free and natural ; the eyes 
assume a natural and lively appearance; the sloughs, 
or parts which separate from the ulcers, fall off easily, 
and leave the sores of a clean and redish color: — when 
these symptoms occur, as I said before, the disease is 
about terminating in the recovery of the patient. 

This infectious and frequently mortal disease, made 
its appearance in Knox county, in the fall of 1827, and 
proved fatal in very many instances. Having a short 
time before arrived from Virginia, and being a stranger, 
my practice was necessarily confined to some cases 
which occurred at Knoxville. I immediately deter- 
mined to use a remedy which I had seen successfully 
administered, in the West Indies, in this disease ; and 
the result of the prescription was successful in my own 
practice. Feeling it a duty to communicate the remedy 
to several gentlemen in the country, whose children 



gunN's domestic medicine. 327 

were attacked with the complaint, I was informed it was 
usually successful, in every case in which it was resorted 
to in the early stages of the disease. 

REMEDIES. 
In this disease, which is generally a dangerous one, 
unless treated with judgment, bleeding and purging are 
always fatal in their consequences, and you are scrupu- 
lously to avoid both. Many physicians have treated 
this complaint injudiciously, from the simple fact of not 
giving themselves the trouble to investigate its causes. 
It generally makes its appearance at the close of sultry 
summers ; when the system has been much weakened 
by protracted exposure to intense heat ; and when peo- 
ple have been, for some time, exposed to breathing the 
putrid atmosphere arising from stagnant waters and 
decaying vegetation. 

You are in the first instance, to give an emetic or 
puke of ipecacuanha — see table for dose — and the dose 
must be repeated in moderation the next day if consid- 
ered necessary. This will throw off the acrid matter, 
which would otherwise produce injury by descending 
into the bowels, which are to be kept gently open by 
clysters — see under that head. If it is necessary, a 
little castor oil by the mouth, or a little rhubarb, may 
be given to assist the clysters in removing offensive mat- 
ter; use, then, the following valuable prescription, which 
is well known in the West Indies, whence I derived it. 
Take cayenne pepper, in powder, two table-spoonsful, 
with one tea-spoonful of salt; and put both into half a 
pint of boiling water; let them stand one hour and strain 
off the liquor. Next, put this liquor, as pure as you can 
make it, into half a pint of strained vinegar, and warm 
it over the fire. Of this medicine, give two table-spoons- 
ful every half hour. Make also, a strong decoction or 



S'28 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

tea of seneka snake root, and give of it two table-spoons- 
ful every hour. If any debility or weakness should 
come on, bathe the grown person or child in a strong 
decoction of red oak bark. If the weakness is very 
considerable, add one fourth of whiskey to the decoc- 
tion, and give wine, or toddy made with spirits and 
sweetened with sugar, to support the system. Wash 
the mouth and throat frequently with the liquor made 
of pepper, vinegar and salt; and, apply to the throat, 
a poultice frequently renewed, of garlic and onions, or 
ashes moistened well with vinegar, and enclosed in a 
small bag, so as to produce a slight irritation of the 
skin. Volatile liniment will answer — look under that 
head ; but, blisters must never be applied to the neck. 
I have never used the compound, but am strongly 
impressed with the opinion, that a tea-spoonful of good 
yeast, mixed with the same quantity of powdered char- 
coal, and given three times a day, would be a good 
remedy in this complaint. 



HEAD ACHE. 

This affection is produced from a foul stomach, from 
costiveness, from indigestion, and sometimes from expo- 
sure to the rays of the sun. There is also a painful 
affection of the head, accompanied with some nausea, 
called sick head ache, which comes on periodically, or 
at particular times ; this last is sometimes called nervous 
head ache. It is not nervous head ache ; it arises from 
want of acid on the stomach, or from an excess of acid. 
There is, indeed a nervous head ache, which arises 
from the same causes as those which produce tooth 
ache in female diseases, and which may be produced, 



GIL\N,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 329 

also, by grief or any of the depressing passions, and 
should be treated by gentle stimulants. 

REMEDIES. 
If produced from a foul stomach, give an emetic or 
puke ; if from costiveness, give an active purge — see 
table for dose — if from exposure to the sun, read under 
the head Inflammation of the Brain. In sick head ache, 
a late remedy has been discovered, which maybe relied 
on; it is citric acid, which may be had at any drug 
store; in plain terms it is nothing but the acid of lem- 
ons, of which you have only to put a little in cold water, 
and to drink it. This remedy is believed to be an 
effective one; and was, like many other valuable dis- 
coveries, the result of mere accident. A girl who 
attended a bar in London, was called on to make a 
glass of lemonade. She was so afflicted with sick head 
ache, as scarcely to be able to prepare it. On tasting 
the lemonade to know if it was good, she found that 
every sip she took relieved her head, and finally, she 
obtained entire relief, from drinking the whole glass. 
When sick head ache arises from excess of acid on the 
stomach, a tea spoonful of finely powdered charcoal, in 
a little cold water, will correct the acid : a tea-spoonful 
of magnesia will do the same. When head ache ari- 
ses from debility, stimulants are required, particularly 
by delicate females. Wine sangaree, made with warm 
water, wine, sugar and nutmeg, is an excellent and gen- 
tle stimulant. I have in many cases, given a bottle of 
Madeira wine to a female in the course of a day, and 
produced much benefit from it in this disease, without 
the least intoxicating effect. The best wine must always 

be used. 

42 



330 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

EAR ACHE. 

Many persons are subject, on the slightest cold, to 
painful affections of the ear. These pains usually sub- 
side in a day or two, and the disease ends in a discharge 
of matter. Sometimes great pain is produced, by some 
insect crawling into the ear of a person whilst sleeping ; 
and it is not unfrequent, that an accumulation of wax 
takes place in the ear and produces deafness. 
REMEDIES. 

Warm some fine salt, place it in a bag, and apply it 
to the ear; or, make a poultice of roasted onions, and 
apply it to the ear and side of the head, first putting into 
the ear a little fine wool, on which has been dropped a 
few drops of laudanum and sweet oil warmed. If the 
pain or deafness is occasioned by the lodgment of hard 
wax in the ear, inject strong warm soap suds into the 
ear, so as to soften and finally dissolve the wax. If the 
pain is very severe, a blister behind the ear will relieve 
it; and if the deafness continue for some time after the 
pain has gone off, inject into the ear once or twice a day 
a little strong salt and water, after which, keep the ear 
stopped with some wool, which must be moistened with 
spirits in which camphor has been dissolved. 



MUMIS. 
This complaint is so universally known, as to make a 
minute description of it unnecessary. It appears on the 
throat; sometimes on one side, and sometimes on both 
sides. It makes its appearance in a lump immediately 
under the jaw, which swells and becomes large and 
painful, and often renders the swallowing difficult. The 
cheeks and whole face generally swell at first, and con- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 331 

tinue swelled for five or six days. When the disease 
is any way severe, it is usually attended with fever: — 
children are generally affected with it, but it is not 
exclusively confined to them. When it attacks grown 
persons, male or female, great care should be observed 
in treating it. In men, the testicles frequently become 
swelled as large as gourds, and extremely painful: — in 
women, without great attention, the disease is apt to 
settle in the breasts, which become swelled and very 
hard ; in this case there is much danger of an accumu- 
lation of matter. These consequences, however, both 
to men and women, usually arise from want of atten- 
tion, and from the taking of cold ; — when due caution 
is exercised, there is very little danger from this com- 
plaint. 

REMEDIES. 
In simple cases of Mumps nothing can or ought to 
be done, but avoid the taking of cold. Keep the face, 
throat and head, moderately warm, by wearing flannel 
round the parts. Keep the bowels gently open, by a 
little castor oil, or epsom salts ; and always avoid the 
damp ground, wet feet, or even damp feet. If the testi- 
cles swell, immediately lie down on your bed, and move 
as little as possible, and also be bled from the arm, and 
purge freely. Apply to the privates, poultices of cold 
light bread and milk, which are always to be renewed 
as soon as they become warm. Dissolve a tea-spoonful 
of sugar of lead in a pint of cold water, with which 
you are to wet the poultices and also the testicles, which 
are to be suspended, or held up in a bag made for the 
purpose ; a handkerchief will answer the same purpose, 
which is merely to prevent their weight from doing 
injury. Women, in cases of swelled breasts, must pur- 



33*2 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

sue the plan of bleeding and purging prescribed for 
men, and apply the poultices to the breasts to prevent 
the formation of matter in them. Poultices made of 
flax seed, applied cold, are also effective in reducing 
inflammations. 



SORE EYES. 

This is so common a disease in the western conntry f 
that it requires to be treated of with much attention. 
The eye is exceedingly tender, and subject to a variety 
of maladies, some of which usually terminate in total 
blindness, unless speedy relief can be obtained. This 
delicate organ exemplifies in the wisdom of its construc- 
tion, the boundless and incomprehensible power of an 
Almighty God. It may be called the mirror of the 
soul ; the interpreter of the passions of mankind. At a 
single glance, it takes in the sublime beauties, and mag- 
nificent splendors of the visible creation; reaches by 
its mystic energies the bosom of unlimited space — 
and, at the next moment, by an effort of microscopic 
vision which is absolutely unaccountable, it expatiates 
on the mild tints of the opening rose-bud, and detects 
the analysis of a physical atom! The loss of such 
powers of vision, then, must be indeed a great misfor- 
tune, and frequently when I have reflected on the 
dangers of so great a loss, I have been astonished at 
the carelessness and inattention, with which diseases 
of this noble and distinguished organ are sometimes 
treated. 

In a work like this, which is intended for popular 
Use and benefit, it would be irrelevant and unimportant. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



333 



to treat of such diseases of the eye as require surgical 
operations ; such must always be met by the skill and 
judgment of a practiced operator. 

Opthalmia is the general name, given by physicians 
to inflammatory diseases of the eye: — these diseases 
are either inflammations of the coats or membranes of 
the eye, or they are inflammations of the whole orbit 
or globe of the eye itself. In common opthalmia, for 
there is such a disease as venereal opthalmia, the eyes 
exhibit considerable inflammations, owing to the fulness 
of the small blood vessels. There is also much heat 
and pain felt over the whole surface of the eye; and, 
generally speaking, an involuntary flow of tears. When 
the inflammation is suspected to be deeply seated, 
throwing a strong light on the eye will determine the 
fact, by producing sharp shooting pains through the 
head, accompanied with fever. When the pains of the 
eyes and head are not much increased by an exposure 
of the eyes to a strong light, we may safely conclude, 
that the inflammation is of a slight and local nature. 
It is my opinion, and I know it is contrary to the com- 
mon opinion, if any judgment can be formed from the 
general practice of physicians, that inflammatory dis- 
eases of the eye, are very frequently connected with 
diseased states of some of the other organs, or with 
seneral and constitutional derangements of the 

whole system. 

Inflammatory diseases of the eye are usually produ- 
ced by severe cold; by sudden changes of the weather; 
by exposure to cold, raw and damp winds ; by residing 
in very damp, or in very sandy countries ; and by ex- 
posures of the eye to the vivid beams of the sun, on 
sandy or snowy wastes of country, for some length of 
time. In the salt mines of Poland, to which many 



334 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

convicts are consigned for life, and where the exclusion 
of daylight renders torches necessary, not only the 
prisoners but the horses themselves become blind, from 
the insufferable brilliancy of the salt rock. This sim- 
ple fact is sufficient to place all persons on their guard, 
against exposing the eye to a strong glare of light. In 
addition to the above causes, inflammations of the eye 
are often produced from external injuries, such as blows 
and bruises ; and also from splinters, dust, or any other 
irritating matters getting into the eyes. Healing old 
ulcers, or sores of long standing, and particularly dri- 
ving in eruptions of the head and face, will very often 
inflame the eyes. Besides all these causes, the sup- 
pression or stoppage of some habitual discharges, such 
as the menses, bleeding at the nose, hemorrhoids or 
piles, &c, will produce inflammations of the eyes: — 
and, to close the catalogue of the causes of inflamma- 
tory diseases of the eye, venereal opthalmia itself is 
produced by the action of the virus or poison of the 
venereal disease or scorbutic or scrofulous habits of 
body. This last disease of the eyes, generally termi- 
nates in impaired vision, or total blindness. You, who 
are yet tyroes in the school of experience and humani- 
ty, you, who are melting down your physical and vital 
energies on the corrupted bed of lust and debauchery, 
listen to this! 

REMEDIES. 
In all inflammations of the eyes, presumed to arise 
from a diseased state of the general system, from a foul 
stomach, from costiveness of the bowels, from colds 
accompanied with fever, or even from local affections 
of the organic structure of the eye, the stomach is to 
be thoroughly evacuated and cleansed by gentle emetics 
or pukes, and the bowels by active and cooling purges 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 335 

If the inflammation should be severe, some blood 
should be drawn from the arm occasionally, at the 
same time that very gentle and cooling purges are in 
operation. The diet should be of the lightest kind, and 
of the most cooling nature. Cold acid drinks are also 
proper, because they tend to lessen the inflammation, 
and to cool the whole system. The skin should be 
kept clean, and perspiration or sweating kept up con- 
tinually, by the warm or tepid bath, after bleeding and 
purging have been sufficiently resorted to. Doctor 
Physic, who is probably among the greatest men of 
his profession, either of this or any other age, expressly 
recommends, that in very severe inflammations of the 
eyes, blister plasters should be applied over and around 
them, which are to be kept shut; and, that between 
these plasters and the eye lids, two or three doublings 
of gauze are to be placed, in order to prevent the flies 
or cantharides from entering the eyes. When the 
inflammation is considered merely local and external, 
and not deeply seated in the system or vital organs, 
poultices made of light bread and milk, and applied as 
cold as possible will be beneficial; in fact, the coldest 
applications are to be kept to the eyes, such for instance 
as the following: — Take twenty grains of sugar of 
lead, and ten grains of white vitriol, dissolve them in 
half a pint of pure rain water, and let the mixture 
settle for several hours; then pour off the clear part 
from the top, and keep the eye constantly moistened 
with this water. If the eyes are very painful, you may 
add to the mixture a tea-spoonful of laudanum, to allay 
the irritation. Persons who are constitutionally subject 
to weak eyes, will find much benefit from bathing them 
frequently in pure water; and if the weakness is unat- 
tended by inflammation, by bathing them in weak 



336 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE; 

spirits and water. Incases of films overspreading the 
cornea, or transparent part of the eye, so as to induce 
blindness, I consider it my duty to make the following 
note: — Doctor Manlone, formerly a celebrated physi- 
cian, of Dinwiddie county, Virginia, since dead, left on 
record in the margin of one of Prideaux's works, the 
following note: — "The gall of an eel, laid on with a 
soft brush, and with great care, and occasionally re- 
peated, has successfully removed a film from the eye. 
The writer of this leaves it on record in this place, 
with the intention that it may be useful to some fellow 
creature, when the writer is no longer an inhabitant of 
this world. I most solemnly declare, that I have expe- 
rienced the good effects of the application, in the course 
of my practice ; but it should be used when the disor- 
der is recent. C. MANLONE," 

Thus we see, notwithstanding the sneers and ridicule 
of modern infidels, that the story in the Apocrypha, of 
Tobit's blindness being cured by the gall of a fish, is 
neither ridiculous nor improbable. Doctor Manlone 
has been dead about forty years. For the satisfaction 
of the reader, I will record a case in which I myself 
was successful in the cure of blindness. Miss Hudson 
of Knox county, who resides with her father on the 
waters of Holston, in this State, came to me afflicted 
with blindness in one of her eyes, from a. film, which I 
speedily and easily removed, by introducing upon the 
surface of the eye-ball, clean hog's lard; it was intro- 
duced into the eye with a fine camel-hair pencil, and 
with much care. 



CUNN>S DOMESTIC IttEDlCIJsE. 337 

WHITLOW. 

There is an inflammation at the end of the finger 
or thumb. The pain gradually increases, attended with 
a throbbing sensation, and always produces in its pro- 
gress the most excruciating torment. In Whitlow, the 
finger or thumb affected, always puts on a glossy or 
shining appearance. After six or eight days, matter 
forms under the nail or at the side of it, which, on being 
opened, gives immediate relief. 
REMEDIES. 

The old plan of treatment in Whitlow has been en- 
tirely laid aside ; it consisted merely of poultices and 
warm applications. The method of cure now adopted 
in the European hospitals, which may be said to be an 
infallible one, is simply as follows: — The moment the 
Whitlow is discovered, press the part gently and grad- 
ually with your thumb and fore finger; then with a 
piece of tape or narrow binding, bind or wind the sore 
finger or thumb tightly, from the point upward toward 
the body of the hand. This bandage must be permit- 
ted to remain on, the object being merely to stop the 
circulation, until a cure is effected. You may unwind 
it once a day to examine the Whitlow, but it must im- 
mediately be put on again. If the bandage give much 
pain, so that you cannot bear it, it must be gradually 
loosened until you can bear the pressure. By this 
simple method, Whitlow may be easily cured, if mat- 
ter has not formed in it. Were I not convinced, that 
many wise men and old women will laugh at this simple 
cure, I would not put myself to the trouble of proving 
its efficacy. Doctor William Balfour of Edinburgh, 
relates more than fifty cases of Whitlow being cured, 
some of them with matter formed and highly inflamed, 
by this simple method. I will give two cases of suc- 

13 



338 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

cess, selected from the London Medical and Physical 
Journal. "James Briddet," says the writer, "who was 
a tanner, aged twenty five years, applied to me on the 
25th of August, with a Whitlow on one of his thumbs. 
He knew no cause for the complaint, which had exist- 
ed about a week, and prevented him from following his 
occupation. When I had pressed the parts firmly, and 
applied a bandage, I desired him to call the next day t 
He looked at me as if he would have said — l Is this all 
that you are to do for me. n I found this fellow," 
says the Doctor, "quite doubtful with regard to my 
cure, and again desired him to call the next day. In 
the morning he accordingly returned, when I found the 
inflammation and swelling considerably abated. On 
the third day the pain was entirely gone, and the man 
had the free use of his thumb. I now asked him if he 
was not at first quite distrustful of the mode of cure I 
had adopted; he laughed, and admitted that he was; 
expressed his surprise at the quick result; made his 
acknowledgments, and went about his business. Peter 
Fraser received an injury on the 26th of December 
last, by having his thumb bent forcibly backward in 
lifting a heavy stone. When he applied to me on the 
29th, he complained of having passed three days in 
great agony, and three sleepless nights. The pain was 
confined to the first joint, but the swelling extended a 
considerable way upward. I never handled a more 
excruciatingly painful case, and believed it must soon 
terminate in suppuration" (breaking and running.) 
"Such was also the opinion of Doctor Anderson of 
New York, who happened to be with me when the 
patient presented himself. I told that gentleman, that 
exquisitely painful as was the complaint, I had no doubt 
of curing it in a week, without any other application 



GUNN*S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



339 



than my own fingers, and a simple bandage of narrow 
tape. The cure was completed in six days, inclusive 
of that on which the patient applied to me." I have 
thus given two cases, in which Whitlow has been cured 
by the mere application of a bandage ; and, I will ad- 
venture another suggestion, which is this, that even in 
cases where suppuration has actually taken place, and 
the lancet has been used, the use of an easy bandage 
would be greatly beneficial, applied to every part of the 
finger or thumb, except immediately over the small 
point of discharge. 



COW POX, OR VACCINATION. 

This valuable discovery, made several years ago by 
the celebrated Doctor Jenner, is now resorted to as a 
remedy against the infectious and dreadful inroads of 
the Small Pox, in almost every portion of the civilized 
world. Vaccination is merely the introduction or in- 
sertion into the arm, by means of the lancet, of the 
matter by which the cow pox is produced in the human 
system. There is a contention among physicians, and 
those too of the higher orders, whether the Cow Pox 
is, in all cases, a preventive of that dreadful scourge of 
mankind, the Small Pox; for myself, I am induced to 
believe, that with very few exceptions, it may be con- 
sidered an antidote to Small Pox, especially when 
vaccination has been effectual on the system. In 
Prussia, out of 584,000 children, born in the year 1821, 
40,000 of them were vaccinated for the Cow Pox. 
During the above period, there died of Small Pox, in 
all the provinces belonging to Prussia, 1190 persons; 



340 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and before the introduction of vaccination, from thirty 
to forty thousand died annually of Small Pox. Al- 
though persons who have been vaccinated may be 
liable to take the Small Pox afterwards, yet the latter 
disease always terminates very mildly. Of many hun- 
dred thousand persons vaccinated in London, not a 
single case of death has taken place from Small Pox, 
where the matter of the Cow Pox, had before taken 
proper effect. The report of the college of physicians in 
London, for 1807, expressly states, that Small Pox in 
any shape rarely proves fatal, when it attacks those 
who have been successfully vaccinated. The success 
attending this operation in the United States, has enti- 
tled it the highest confidence of our most distinguished 
physicians. I have before remarked in substance, and 
I think the opinion a correct one, that many who have 
taken the Small Pox after vaccination, took it from bad 
management in inserting the Cow Pox matter; when 
the proper effect is not produced on the system, by the 
introduction of the Cow Pock matter, it is to be expect- 
ed that persons will still be liable to the contagion of 
Small Pox. 

To every man of common prudence, and proper 
sentiments of self-preservation, advice of the necessity 
of vaccination, as a preventive of the dangers atten- 
dant on Small Pox, would be superfluous ; to those who 
seem to slumber in security, respecting the future rava- 
ges of Small Pox in the western country, I have only 
to remark, that the facilities of commerce with other 
countries are daily increasing, from the universal intro- 
duction of steam boats, and the rapid improvement of 
our internal navigation; and that in a few years, 
through these mediums, the most remote and seclude^ 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 341 

portions of our country, will stand as much exposed to 
the mortal inroads of Small Pox, as our large cities 
and maritime towns. 

The great object in vaccination, is the certainty that 
the matter of vaccination takes full effect on the sys- 
tem ; and it is needless to remark, that unless the matter 
be genuine, no beneficial effects can possibly result from 
vaccination. Vaccination is an innocent and valuable 
preventive remedy against Small Pox, in which little if 
any medicine is required ; in children it passes over in 
a few days. In grown persons it may produce slight 
fever and pain under the arm, which usually go off in 
a few hours. If the persons vaccinated be of a gross 
habit of body, a moderate dose of salts will be of much 
service on the seventh or eighth day. If the inflam- 
mation of the arm becomes very painful, moisten the 
place frequently with a little weak sugar of lead water, 
until the sore is dried up ; this however is seldom neces- 
sary, The great point in vaccination, is certainly to 
know, that the matter introduced into the system has 
taken a full and sufficient effect. If there is only a 
slight redness in the arm, where the matter has been 
inserted, and no other effect is produced on the system, 
you may certainly conclude that the vaccination has 
failed of effect. But if, on the contrary, a pustule or 
pimple arises, of a full and oval form, with an indenta- 
tion or dent in the centre, not unlike a button mould, 
about the sixth day, containing matter, vaccination has 
had the desired effect. Great attention should be paid 
to these circumstances by the operator, or he will prob- 
ably be the cause of a future exposure of the person to 
the ravages of the Small Pox, and not improbably to 
the imminent hazard of death. The influence of the 
Kine or Cow Pox. over affections of the skin, in manv 



342 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

cases in which medical remedies have failed, has lately 
produced considerable attention and interest in the hos- 
pitals of Europe. The matter of Cow Pox, can always 
be obtained pure, by addressing a letter to the Vaccine 
Institution of New York, Philadelphia or Baltimore, 
from either of which, on application, you will receive it 
by letter. If the matter be received from a distance, it 
is best to hold the lancet, on which is the matter you 
intend to insert into the arm, until it softens a little; 
then, hold the lancet in such a position, that the matter 
can gradually go off the point. Next scratch the 
skin frequently, but not too deeply, with the point 
of the lancet on which is the matter, until a little blood 
may be seen; — this is the whole secret of vaccination. 
Sometimes the matter of Cow Pox is sent on threads ; 
when this is the case, make a slight incision in the arm, 
and lay the thread in it, which must be covered with 
court plaster to keep it in its place until the disorder 
has been communicated. If a physician be convenient, 
it will always be advisable to employ him to perform 
the operation, because much depends on the exercise of 
judgment, respecting the future security of the person 
against that most dreadful of scourges, the Small Pox. 



SMALL POX. 

How imperfect are the conceptions which are formed 
by the fortunate few, of the sufferings to which millions 
of the human race are subject, when afflicted by this 
dreadful and fatal disorder! How important then is the 
great remedy of vaccination, which I have before descri- 
bed, that from some inexplicable principle, renders 
harmless this potent enemy of human life' 



bUNW*8 DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 343 

Small Pox is known by the following symptoms: a 
few days before its appearance, you feel restless and 
uneasy, and a great dislike to motion of any kind ; cold 
chills steal over you, followed by flushings of heat, and 
accompanied by a slight fever, all of which end as the 
disease gradually increases. You have a pain in the 
in the head, a dull heavy pain in the small of the back, 
great thirst, increase of stupor, until about the third day, 
when the eruptions or spots on the skin, something like 
flea bites, make their appearance on the face, neck, 
breast and arms, and gradually extend over the whole 
body. These spots gradually increase in size, until 
about the fifth or sixth day, when they begin to turn 
white at the tops, and feel painful. Your voice then 
becomes hoarse, as if you had a severe cold ; your face 
becomes much swelled, and your features appear much 
changed ; your eye-lids particularly, swell to a consid- 
erable extent, so as frequently to close the eyes entirely, 
and a spitting takes place as if you were salivated. On 
the eleventh day, these pustules or pimples have increa- 
sed to about the size of a common pea, and instead of 
white contain a yellow matter; on the tops of which 
pustules or pimples, you will discover a small black 
spot, whilst all the rest is filled with this yellow matter. 
About the twelfth day they burst, and discharge their 
contents, with a horrible stench which is almost insup- 
portable; nor dare you attempt to wash off this matter, 
the slightest touch giving the most excruciating pain. 
It is this matter which leaves the scars on the faces of 
persons disfigured with the disorder. If the matter 
dries quickly, it leaves no marks; but if, from any 
unhealthy constitutional defect, it lingers for some time 
on the body, it generally leaves those marks behind it, 
which disfigure the countenance for life. This disease 



341 tiUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

sometimes, but not frequently, comes on with great vio- 
lence, with all the symptoms of typhus or nervous fever : 
refer to page 194, where you will see the form of treat- 
ment which must be observed in Small Pox, should it 
come on with symptoms of typhus or nervous fever. 
When these unfavorable appearances take place in the 
commencement of the disease, it is called by physicians 
Confluent Small Pox. The eruptions appear much 
earlier in this form of the coi iplaint; they run in 
patches, and instead of rising, remain flat and are of a 
dark livid color; they secrete a dark brown unhealthy 
matter. The fever, which in the first form of Small 
Pox abates when the pimples become full, in this form 
of the disease continues constantly throughout the dis- 
ease, ending in great debility or weakness. In this last 
form or stage of Small Pox, which I have described as 
of the nervous or typhus kind, it may be considered as 
very highly dangerous, and as generally terminating, 
without judicious and skilful treatment, fatally. 
REMEDIES. 
In the treatment of this complaint, you are to avoid 
every thing, as you value the life of your patient, of a 
heating nature, either as drink, or food, or clothing. 
The room is to be kept as quiet as possible. Cover the 
patient with nothing but a very thin sheet; even the 
weight and heat of a common linen sheet is painful and 
oppressive, and unless he complains of feeling cold, you 
cannot commit an error in keeping him too cool. Let 
all his drinks be of the most cooling nature. As a gen- 
eral drink, cold water sweetened with sugar, in which is 
put a little acid, so as to make it pleasantly sour, is the 
best drink that can be given. In fevers of every descrip- 
tion, and particularly in the one which attends on Small 
Pox, acid drinks abate (he lever, Jcscn the thirst, and 



GUiN'N'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 345 

cool the whole system. The heat and pain of the 
eruptions will always be lessened, by keeping them well 
moistened with equal quantities of milk and water, or 
with cold water alone. Cold water, as a remedy used 
in sponging the body in the first stage of this complaint, 
will greatly tend to lessen the, heat, and pain in the head 
and back. In fact, as I have told you before, there is 
no danger of cooling remedies, unless the patient com- 
plains of being chilly and cold, which is not frequently 
the case ; but if he should do so, moderate the quantity 
of cooling drinks to the feelings of the patient — nature 
usually tells the truth. If, by any accident, the com- 
plaint should strike in, (which is not the case once in a 
hundred instances,) the warm bath made pleasantly 
warm should be used, and a little warm wine whey, or 
warm wine, given internally at the same time. These 
measures will again bring out the disorder on the skin. 
For the proper treatment of this disease, when it puts 
on the appearance of nervous or typhus fever, and is 
called Confluent Small Pox, I refer you to page 194, 
where you will find it at length. When the eruptions 
burst and discharge their matter, an ointment made of 
cream and common garden parsley, and constantly 
applied by means of a soft swab, or rag rolled round a 
small stick, to keep the sores soft, and to prevent their 
hardening, will entirely prevent any marks or scars from 
being left on the face. I have omitted to state, that if 
the bowels are costive, epsom salts should be given in a 
little cold water— see table for dose— or you may keep 
them gently open, by cooling clysters: — for clystering, 
look under the head clysters. The loss of some blood 
from the arm, is sometimes necessary in the first stage of 
fhis disease, if the inflammatory symptoms run high, 

and the pain in the head is very disti 

44 



346 GUKN'S DOMESTIC 1V1ED1C1NE. 

the use of cold water as before mentioned, if the inflam- 
matory action is very great, will produce a beneficial 
effect in relieving the pain in the head and back. 



VENEREAL DISEASES. 

The prevalence of this dreadful disease among man- 
kind, is another proof among the many others that 
might be adduced, that it is the interest of man to be 
virtuous, if he wishes to be happy, and that a decree 
of the Almighty has announced to him, in language 
not to be mistaken, "the penalty of a misdeed shall 
always tread on the heels of the transgression ; if you 
violate my laws, which were formed for your happiness, 
I will convince you of that violation, by plunging you 
into sufferings and misery." 

That there are moments of licentious conduct in 
early life, affording but a short and transitory enjoyment, 
to which memory in after periods looks back with sor- 
row and remorse, no man possessed of common sense 
will deny; but when to the bitter pangs of remorse for 
a misdeed, are added the pains and sufferings of bodily 
disease^ as is always the case in Venereal complaints, 
language has no powers to describe the real condition 
of the sufferer. What dreadful sacrifices are frequently 
made by mankind, of health, wealth, fame, happiness 
and character, for a momentary gratification of sensual 
pleasure, which often ends in shame, and remorse, and 
the misery of a whole life, inflicted by the Venereal 
disease. If the transgressor himself alone suffered, 
this disease would not present so horrible a spectacle to 
the eye of humanity ; but how often do we see an inno- 
cent and spotless wife, in moments of endearing conn- 



GUNN,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 347 

dence and love, receiving this infectious disorder and 
communicating it to her children — I will not say from 
a husband, it would be a misuse of the word, but from 
a brute, who has violated every principle of honor, and 
the most sacred ties of humanity. But this is not all — 
how often do we see an innocent, virtuous, unsuspicious 
wife, her constitution destroyed, her health deeply 
impaired, and all her hopes of happiness blasted forever, 
from having received from the man she calls her hus- 
band, this loathsome and filthy disorder, and having to 
submit to an examination of those parts which common 
decency forbids me to name, in order that she may be 
cured of a disease which always ends in death of a 
most terrible character, unless medical means can be 
used. 

This complaint is produced, in most cases, by a 
healthy person having sexual intercourse or connexion, 
with another who has this infectious disorder in the gen- 
itals or privates. It took its name from a Greek word, 
which in our language means filthy. The Old Testa- 
ment informs us, that the ancient inhabitants of the 
eastern countries, were much subject to diseases of the 
genitals or privates, and that for the preservation of 
the Jewish nation, circumcision was enforced in the 
Mosaic laws, and made also a religious rite or cere- 
mony. Circumcision means the cutting off the foreskin 
or prepuce of the private member, which prevents any 
poisonous or infectious matter from producing disease, 
by being lodged under this skin. Although no direct 
mention is made of Venereal disease among those 
people, yet the description of some of the diseases of 
the genitals to which they were subject, leads us directly 
to the belief, that they were well acquainted with Vene- 
real complaints; be this however as it may, about the 



348 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

close of the fifteenth century, I think about the year 
1494, the Venereal disease appeared in Europe, from 
which it communicated with great rapidity to every part 
of the known world, and became such a scourge to 
the human race, as to become an object of great medical 
attention, I have neither time nor space, for pursuing 
the subject of its history any further, indeed it would be 
both useless and unnecessary. 

After you have taken this disorder, in the manner I 
have described, it will depend very much on the state of 
your system, and other peculiarities of that system not 
distinctly known, at what particular time the disease 
will make its appearance. In some persons, whose sys- 
tems are very irritable, it will show itself on the third or 
fourth day after you have had sexual connexion with a 
person infected with the disease; in other persons it 
will be eight or ten days before it makes its appearance ; 
and I have known it to remain a month or more in the 
system, before it would show itself in any form. In 
fact, cases are mentioned by good medical writers, in 
which several men have had connexion with a woman 
known to have the Venereal disease, some of whom took 
it,while others escaped uninjured. This singular circum- 
stance, which we are bound to credit from the goodness 
of the authorities, must have been owing to the fact of 
the infected woman making water, immediately before 
having connexion with those who escaped without 
injury. 

I am inclined to believe that it has never been fully 
ascertained, how long the Venereal matter will remain, 
as it were asleep in the system, without making its ap- 
pearance — some writers say three months, some six 
months, some a year, and so on. I suspect the fact to 
be, in those cases in which the disease is supposed to 



GIJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 349 

appear after a considerable time, that the persons have 
not been entirely cured ; in other words, that the dis- 
ease has merely been driven back by quackery, and 
afterwards showed itself under the following forms: — 
in the nose, in the throat, in the eyes, on the legs, in 
swellings of the groins, in splotches or sores on the 
body, &c. This last stage of the Venereal disease is 
called consumplional, because it is firmly seated in 
the whole body, by the Venereal virus or poison having 
been absorbed, and carried into the whole circulation. 
The Venereal disease may be communicated, by 
wounding or pricking any part of the body with a 
lancet, having on its point any particle of this Venereal 
poison. I recollect a student of medicine, who came 
very near death, from cutting his finger slightly, when 
dissecting a person who had died of the Venereal dis- 
ease; the poisonous matter was communicated to the 
slight cut; in twelve hours afterwards he labored un- 
der violent fever, which continued ten or twelve days, 
before the inflammation could be subdued. This 
disease may also take place, from an application of the 
matter to a scratch, to a common sore, or to a wound. 
Several instances are mentioned, of Venereal or pox 
sores being formed in the nostrils, eye lids and lips, 
from the slight circumstance of persons having the 
disease, touching their nostrils, eyes or lips, with their 
fingers, immediately after handling the Venereal sores 
on their own privates. These remarks are made, with 
the intention of showing how easily this loathsome 
disease, with all its impure and life-corrupting taints, 
may be communicated, and to place physicians and 
midwives on their guard against infection. 

Venereal disease has two distinct forms; I might 
^;iv throe forms, for the third is nothing more than the 



350 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

one I have just described as constitutional, which 
always arises from one of the other two, or from both 
in combination. The first is Pox, properly so called ; 
and the other Clap, called by physicians Gonorrhoea, 
which is so simple in its nature, that with proper treat- 
ment it may be cured, in from three to five or six days. 
The pox is a most corrupting, dangerous and de- 
structive disease, and if suffered to progress in its 
ravages on the human body, never fails in desolating 
the human constitution, and destroying life at its very 
core. When it is foolishly concealed, and suffered to 
run on, or badly treated in attempting its cure, it al- 
ways ends in distressing, and irreparably fatal conse- 
quences. In ten cases out of eleven, if application 
were immediately made, with the proper remedies, the 
complaint, dreadful as it is, might he cured in a very 
short time, without affecting the system ; for I do know 
from actual experience, having paid much attention 
to the general practice in Venereal cases, that thou- 
sands have been salivated, and their constitutions 
destroyed, by Mercury, when more simple and less 
dangerous practice, combined with adequate and pro- 
per attentions, would entirely have removed the disease. 
Medically speaking, Pox is at first a local, and not a 
general disease of the system, by which I mean, that 
it is more a disease of the part first affected, than of 
the whole body ; and I have no manner of doubt, that 
many a poor unfortunate fellow, has been pushed and 
dragged through a tedious and destructive mercurial 
course of medicine, and perhaps for a disease which 
was not actual Pox, who might have been cured by a 
little lunar caustic, a wash made of blue stone; a 
little red precipitate, or even by sprinkling on the 
chancre, or first Venereal ulcer, a small portion of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 351 

calomel. I have frequently observed in the United 
States, many cases which professional honor forbids 
me to name, in which patients have suffered infinitely 
more from the imprudent, and to coin a new word, 
quacknical use of mercury, than could possibly have 
resulted from the first insignificant Venereal sore itself, 
with strict attention to cleanliness, had the disease been 
permitted to run its course. That mercury holds a dis- 
tinguished, powerful, and perhaps perfect dominion over 
Venereal diseases, in most, if not in all cases, I freely 
admit to be true: — but I as firmly believe, that thous- 
ands might have been cured of this horrid complaint, 
under very mild administrations of this powerful medi- 
cine, this Sampson of the drug shops. I have witnessed 
the progress of this disease, in both Europe and the 
United States, from its mildest forms to its most de- 
structive ravages on the human system, and feel per- 
fectly assured that the disease, which is the same in all 
countries, assumes either a milder or severer form, 
according to the peculiarities of the human constitu- 
tion, the irritable state of the system at the time this 
disease is taken, the habits of the person, the character 
of the climate, and so on. Very few cases of Pox in 
France, in proportion to the immense population, ter- 
minate in injuries to the bones of the face, disfigure- 
ment of the nose, loss of the palate of the mouth, &c. 
This is altogether owing to their proper management 
of the complaint; with them, the Pox produces very 
little alarm, probably not more than the itch does in 
this country. They are perfect masters of the disease, 
and there are few cases that do not terminate speedily 
and successfully, under their strict and judicious treat- 
ment. An individual may travel through France, and 
have promiscuous intercourse of a sexual character for 



352 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

years,, without receiving the least injury. On the con- 
trary, in this country, from causes which need not be 
particularly named, the least deviation from moral 
propriety, involves the participant in disease and suffer- 
ing. As my object is the development of truth, regard- 
less of petty objections and servile prejudices, I assert 
that we use infinitely too much mercury in the cure of 
pox in the United States ; in fact we very frequently 
communicate a serious disease by the imprudent use of 
Mercury, instead of removing one ; yet I trust in God 
the day will arrive, and that too at no very distant peri- 
od, when diseases themselves will be prescribed for, and 
not their merely technical names. There are gener- 
ally, in the Venereal hospital at Paris in France, from 
five to seven hundred Venereal or Pox patients. In- 
cluded in this number, there are usually about three 
hundred women of the town, in other words, common 
prostitutes. "The patients of all the French hospitals," 
says Doctor F. J. Didier, honorary member of the 
medical society of Baltimore, "are carefully nursed by 
the sisters of charity, a class of nuns whose lives are 
consecrated to the relief of wretchedness and the 
calming of pain. With what eloquence does Voltaire 
write, in favor of these charming and admirable wo- 
men! — 'Perhaps,' says he, 'there is nothing on earth so 
truly great, as the sacrifice made by the softer sex, of 
beauty, youth, and often the highest worldly expecta- 
tions, to relieve that mass of every human suffering, 
the sight of which is so revolting to delicacy.' I my- 
self have observed one of these angelic women, admin- 
istering consolation and relief to a man tortured by the 
agonies of disease and wretchedness. She appeared 
to take the greatest interest in the poor sufferer. The 
sweetness, the captivating voice, the winning kindness 



GUMN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 353 

of these sisters of charity, soon dry the tear which 
flows down the care worn cheek, and infuse the gleam 
of hope into the soul depressed by misfortune." It is 
rather singular to an American, that the French gov- 
ernment should license common prostitutes, and exact 
a tribute from debaucheries, but such are the facts. 
The probability is, however, that these measures ori- 
ginate in sound policy on the part of the government, 
and in sentiments of actual charity, to those who under 
any circumstances, would lead a life of whoredom and 
prostitution. Several objects are attained by this policy ; 
the license subjects these women monthly, to a medical 
examination touching their diseases, and tends to check 
and prevent the spread of Venereal infection through 
their immense population ; it furnishes the police offi- 
cers of their large cities with monthly registers of their 
names and places of abode, and exacts from them a 
fund, while in youth and health, for their care and 
support in sickness and old age, which they themselves 
would never think of laying up. I think these consi- 
derations worthy of the attention of our own govern- 
ments, general and state, and particularly of the 
Medical Board lately established by the legislature of 
Tennessee. The fact is, that if the legislature of Ten- 
nessee, would compel the loose characters in all our 
cities and towns, who practice prostitution on a petty 
and filthy scale, to take out license and submit to med- 
ical examination monthly, or abandon their commerce 
in low and corrupt debauchery, we would soon have 
fewer cases of Venereal in our commercial towns, or 
be rid of the fraternity of prostitutes altogether. I 
have, in the foregoing remarks, perhaps, strayed a little 
from the precise track of my subject; but, as the digres- 
sion will probably not be wholly uninteresting. I shall 

15 ' 



354 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

make no elaborate apology for it. I will first describe 
pox and clap separately, and next give their remedies 
separately. 

POX. 
When you suppose you have taken this disease, no 
foolish or childish delicacy, should prevent you for a 
moment from ascertaining the fact. The disease gen- 
erally makes its appearance by what physicians call 
chancres. These are small inflamed pimples, which 
show themselves on the head of the penis or yard, or 
on the side of the penis near the end. In a very few 
days, these pimples enlarge themselves, and become 
what are called Venereal sores or ulcers. In women, 
these pimples show themselves first, immediately inside 
of what are called the lips of the privates, and unless 
arrested in their course of enlargement, extend them- 
selves to the fundament in a short time. The pox, also, 
sometimes makes its appearance, in what are called 
buboes; these are hard lump-like kernels or swellings, 
which rise in one or both groins. These swellings 
gradually increase in size, until they become about the 
size of an egg, and have an angry red color, and unless 
driven away by the application of medicine, eventually 
come to ahead, and discharge their poisonous matter. 
These buboes generally produce great pain, some fever, 
and prevent the person afflicted with them from walk- 
ing, without considerable difficulty. Buboes some- 
times make their appearance under the arm-pits, and 
sometimes in the glands of the throat; these appear- 
ances of bubo, however, are not very frequent, and are 
much oftener the effects of mercury, improperly admin- 
istered in the Pox, than arising from the disease itself, 
The fact is, that I think them produced, generally, 
from the neglect of many, in not speedily effecting a 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 355 

cure by the proper and efficient use of medicine — in 
other words, by half-way dilatory measures, which 
neither cure the disease, nor suffer it to run its course. 
When the constitution is very irritable, the disease will 
sometimes attack the nose, the throat, the tongue, the 
eyes, the skin bones, and so on, and fill the whole sys- 
tem with the Venereal poison in no great length of 
time, and unless efficient, combined with well judged 
measures be resorted to, the human system will become 
a mass of putrifying sores, and the sufferer become an 
object of compassion and disgust. By this short and 
comprisive description, you will be at no loss to know 
what is the Pox, if you should ever have it. 

CLAP. 
Clap is a simple disease, and may be very easily 
cured, if timely attention be paid to it. The first 
symptoms of the disease are, burning and scalding sen- 
sations or feelings, in the urethra or canal of the penis, 
whenever you urinate or make water. There will be 
a discharge of matter from the penis, first of nearly a 
white color, next of a yellowish color, which will stain 
your shirt, and lastly, of a greenish color. After hav- 
ing the disease some time, or perhaps from the irrita- 
ble state of your system, you will experience what is 
called chordee ; this is a spasmodic contraction of the 
penis, which gives considerable pain in erections of the 
\ard, as if it were wound with a small cord. In 
women, this disease called Clap, is still more simple; 
in its first stage merely resembling the Whites in their 
worst stage. There is, however, this specific difference 
between Clap and Whites in women — in Clap there is 
always a scalding and burning sensation in making wa- 
ter, and a continual uneasiness and itching about the 



356 CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

parts, neither of which sensations are experienced in 
mere Whites. 

REMEDIES FOR POX. 
As soon as the first symptoms of Pox are discovered, 
which will in all common cases be known by the ap- 
pearance of chancres or buboes, both of which I have 
described to you sufficiently, take an active purge of 
calomel and jalap. The object of this purge is, to 
clear the bowels of all irritating obstructions, and to 
remove as far as possible, every species of irritation 
from the system: — see table for dose. If this dose of 
calomel and jalap does not operate in proper time, 
take a tea-spoonful of epsom salts to assist the opera- 
tion, and to make it fully effective. If you should have 
dark stools, let the medicine run on its whole course ; 
but, if the stools become yellow and watery, and you 
feel much weakened by the operation, take from ten to 
twenty drops of laudanum, or a tea-spoonful of pare- 
goric, to prevent the medicine from working you too 
severely. Next, obtain from any doctor's shop, a small 
quantity of lunar caustic; cut the end of a quill, and 
set the caustic into it, which will afford you an opportu- 
nity of using it more conveniently, and without handling 
it with your fingers ; wet the end of this caustic in wa- 
ter, and touch the chancres or sores with it lightly, 
twice a day, until you have killed the poison, always 
taking care to wash and clease the sores well with soap 
and water, immediately before this operation is per- 
formed. The caustic will sting you a little ; but never 
mind this; you are now on the stool of repentance, 
and are only learning the salutary moral lesson, that 
"the penalty always treads upon the heels of the trans- 
gression," and that the sacred laws of nature and her 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 357 

God, can never be violated without punishment to 
reform the offender! After using the caustic as just 
directed, apply dry lint to the sores. If caustic can- 
not be had, red precipitate will answer nearly the same 
purpose ; this must be used by sprinkling a little on the 
chancres, after cleansing them with soap and water as 
before mentioned; or you may, if you have neither 
caustic or precipitate, use a little calomel, in the way 
that I have directed the precipitate to be used. The 
better way, however, will be, where all the articles can 
be obtained, to use the three alternately, or in rotation, 
until you can ascertain which of them seems best to 
heal the ulcers — and then to adopt the one which you 
prefer, from the exercise of your best judgment. I, 
myself, have always found the lunar caustic the best 
remedy. If you are difficultly situated, as to procuring 
the articles above named, dissolve some blue vitriol, 
generally called blue stone, in water, and wash the 
chancres or ulcers with the solution repeatedly, taking 
particular care to keep the sores very clean, and entirely 
free from matter. 

If the disease appears under the form of Buboes, 
which are such swellings of the groin as I have descri- 
bed to you, and which if left to themselves, will rise and 
break like boils, yougare to put blisters of Spanish flies 
on them, which extend one or two inches over the 
Buboes ; and I suppose I need not tell you, that these 
said blisters are to be renewed, until the Buboes, or 
swellings are what the physicians call "discussed," in 
other words, driven away or back entirely. If you 
cannot get blisters, lie on your back, and apply linen 
ra<*s to the Buboes, kept constantly wet with clear strong- 
ley, which we vulgarly pronounce lye. For this remedy, 
which is a valuable one, wo are indebted to the French 



358 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

Physicians: I learned it in France. And, now mind 
me particularly; if these Buboes, notwithstanding the 
applications of blisters, or the application of ley or lye, 
rise to a head, burst, and discharge their offensive and 
poisonous matter, which they will certainly do if not 
driven back, you are to take the greatest possible pre- 
cautions to keep them clean, while discharging their 
loathsome contents ; if you do not, the matter will be 
very apt to produce other Venereal ulcers, especially if 
it happen to lodge on any sores on other parts of the 
body; therefore wash them gently, but well, two or three 
times a day, in strong soap and water, and after drying 
them well, wash the sores again with a little of the weak 
solution of corrosive sublimate. If you cannot pro- 
cure this preparation, sprinkle a little red precipitate 
or calomel on the sores, and dress them with some sim- 
ple ointment, such as Turner's cerate: — see under that 
head: — but mind me, these dressings, or either of them, 
are never to be put on, unless after washing the sores 
well with soap and water. During all this treatment, 
and from the very commencement of the disorder, you 
are to drink freely of a strong decoction or tea, made 
of low ground sarsaparilla, to every quart of which 
tea, after you have strained it clear, you are to add 
sixty drops of nitric acid, vulgarly called aqua fortis. 
Take this tea thus prepared freely, say from a pint to a 
quart per day, and avoid particularly every kind of 
strong food, and all kinds of spirituous liquors. These 
measures carefully and strictly pursued, combined with 
time, patience, and the requisite rest, are all that arc 
required to cure this dreadful scourge of debauchery and 
licentiousness, under any form in which it may appear 
in the human system. This has been my uniform prac- 
tice, both in Virginia and Tennessee; and it is well 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 359 

known that I have succeeded, in many cases of the 
most desperate and hopeless character, and where other 
modes of practice had been resorted to in vain. By 
these means, which have never before been made known 
by me, I succeeded in curing a gentleman in Virginia, 
several years ago, whose case I will dare aver, was as 
bad a one as can well be imagined. He had been 
attended and prescribed for, by several of the most dis- 
tinguished physicians in the United States, and was 
brought to me twenty miles in a carriage to Montgom- 
ery Court House, where I then resided, in so helpless 
and dreadful a condition, that he had fainted several 
times on the short journey, and was but the shadow of 
a human being. Yet in the lapse of six weeks, by the 
practice I have just described, he became a well man. 
He is now married, and I am happy to add, from late 
accounts, is a healthy and virtuous husband, and an 
excellent citizen. I am constrained, however, to add, 
that the real danger of his situation, was as much owing 
to the effects of the mercury he had taken, as to the 
actual presence in his system of the venereal virus or 
poison. That his disease was both venereal and mer- 
curial, I have never entertained the least doubt — in other 
words, it came under the constitutional disease I have 
before described, as being characterized by sores on the 
body, blotches, &c. &c. The venereal disease, in this 
constitutional stage has been called by some medical 
writer, and I perfectly coincide with him in opinion, 
the Mercurial Pox, which I certainly consider not only 
more dangerous, but greatly more difficult to cure than 
die real disease itself, if no means other than mercury 
be relied on. I am perfectly aware that the idea of 
abandoning the use of mercury in the cure of pox, will 
be considered a novelty by many of the faculty of this 



3(50 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

country; but I am fully as well aware, that the sarsa- 
parilla, as I have prescribed the use of it here, combined 
with the nitric acid or aqua fortis, as before mentioned, 
will remove the pox from the human system, in its worst 
forms and stages. For the powerful and salutary influ- 
ence of the nitric acid or aqua fortis on the human 
system, the sceptical reader will please to see "Reme- 
dies," in diseases of the liver, from page 248 onward. 
The practice of treating venereal cases without mer- 
cury, has now become general, both in the hospitals of 
England and France ; and I predict that the day is not 
far distant, when mercury will cease to be used through- 
out the United States. The belief that pox can only be 
cured with safety and certainty by the use of mercury, 
is so deeply seated in the minds of physicians at this 
time, that I am persuaded it will require much time to 
remove their confidence in its favor. That mercury is 
as I have before said, a cure for the venereal disease, is 
well known; but, that the effects produced by it are 
frequently mistaken for the pox itself, I have no more 
doubt than I have of my own existence. 

The French method of curing pox, is by the use or 
administration of Van Swieten's Liquor, as they call 
it — or Anti-syphilitic Rob — for this medicine and the 
manner of preparing it, look under that head. The 
Rob was used in the London hospitals, until it was 
superseded and thrown out of use, by Swaim's Pana- 
cea — for the method of preparing which, see under that 
head. Both these medical preparations, are used with 
advantage in secondary symptoms, by which I mean 
what I have said before, in cases where the disease has 
become constitutional, and is attended with ulcers, sores, 
blotches, &,c. The sulphur bath, or sulphureous fumi- 
gation, is much used in France. After the fourth bath, 



6VNN4 DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 361 

ilic ulcers and venereal blotches begin to heal, and gen- 
erally in ten or twelve baths are entirely cured. This 
last remedy, which is an excellent one, is entirely neg- 
lected, if I must speak out, upon no other principles, than 
laziness and inattention on the part of practitioners, and 
ignorance in their patients. This bath is nothing more 
than the fumes of sulphuric acid, which is nothing but 
oil of vitriol. For a full description of this valuable 
remedy, I may add this astonishing one, read under the 
head Sulphuric Fumigation. 

With the foregoing exposition of my own mode of 
curing pox, and the material remedies used in other 
countries, I will now proceed to give the common and 
general practice in this disease, leaving it optional with 
the patient to adopt that which suits his opinions or 
convenience best. Were I to advise, however, on the 
subject of a choice, I would recommend the mild 
method in the first instance, and the mercurial one only 
when the aggravation of the symptoms seemed to call 
for it, which I must confess I think would be but sel- 
dom, where the plan of treatment I have laid down had 
been faithfully adhered to and persisted in. Doctor 
Rosseau of Philadelphia, a gentleman of distinguished 
ability, and great practice in this disease, expressly 
says, "I have never found any benefit to be derived 
from a salivation; on the contrary, those patients who 
have undergone this dirty, filthy, torturing process, have 
to my knowledge, and to their own sorrow, felt the dele- 
terious effects of it for many years, and very many for 
life." For a full description of this complaint, in its 
secondary or constitutional symptoms, and the dreadful 
effects of mercury, I refer to this very able, intelligent, 
and honest writer; Medical Recorder, volume third. 

"Sketches en venereal complaints.' 1 

16 



362 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

The practice throughout the United States has been, 
and now generally is, to introduce into the whole sys- 
tem, as much mercury as will produce a soreness of the 
gums, or salivation, by giving small doses of calomel 
alone, or combined with opium, if the calomel alone 
would run off by the bowels ; and by rubbing on the 
bubo, to disperse it, mercurial ointment, known by the 
country people as oil of baze, of which a piece about 
the size of the end of your finger is to be rubbed in and 
about the bubo, night and morning, until a salivation is 
produced, or until the lump in the groin is dispersed. 
When the mouth has a copperish taste, or a slight sore- 
ness is felt, stop taking the calomel, and omit rubbing 
in the mercurial ointment, as the whole system is then 
considered to be under mercurial influence. The blue 
pill is now used very extensively in the United States, 
instead of calomel, being a much milder preparation of 
mercury — for a description of this pill, and the manner 
of preparing it, read under that head. The dose is one 
pill in the morning, and one at night, until they produce 
the effects on the gums and mouth, required to be pro- 
duced by calomel ; when they are to be continued, only 
so far as to keep up the effect on the gums and mouth, 
until the disease is removed. The chancres, or buboes, 
are to be treated as before described in a preceding 
page. Doctor Cartwright, who is among the greatest 
medical men now living, in this or any other country, 
recommends the following practice, and relates many 
cases treated by himself with unbounded success. " I 
never," says he, "prescribe calomel with a view to pro- 
duce salivation ; but to guard against it, I order a clyster 
or some mild purgative to be taken, in twelve or sixteen 
hours after the calomel, if it does not operate ; and in 
the event of its operating too much, I direct a little lau- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 363 

danum to check it, so as to limit it to two or three stools, 
unless the stools are of a dark or green color, when the 
purging should be permitted to go on, until they change 
their appearance. As it respects this disorder, when 
taken in time, I have found by an experience of two 
years' practice, that pox is as easily cured by giving 
twenty or thirty grains of calomel every day or every 
other day, as a common dose. In good constitutions, 
pox yields to the native powers of the system. As soon 
as a copperish taste is perceived in the mouth, or the 
least tenderness of the gums, or soreness of the teeth, 
I order an immediate suspension of the calomel until 
these symptoms have disappeared, when it should be 
resumed with caution. The preparation I generally 
use," says the doctor, "is twenty grains of calomel and 
four of rhubarb, given at bed time. Generally, by the 
time three or four doses have been taken, the breath 
will begin to have a mercurial odor, a copperish taste 
will be perceived in the mouth, or the gums will feel 
tender. About this time, or even before it, the venereal 
symptoms begin to disappear, and in a few days more, 
the chancres entirely heal. I generally recommend, 
after the healing of the chancres, a dose or two more to 
complete the cure of the disease. I have rarely found 
more than twelve or fifteen pills, each ten grains of cal- 
omel and two of rhubarb, necessary for the cure of a 
recent infection, or in other words, one that is not of 
long standing." I have now given a full description of 
the various methods of treating this loathsome disease 
called pox, in the best manner, leaving the reader to 
make his own selection among them. Much of my 
information has been derived from experiment and 
observation; and I regret to say, that I have witnessed 
the disease in as severe forms, since I have been in 



364 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

Knoxville, as I ever did in the hospitals of Europe or 
the United States. The disease was brought from New 
Orleans, and was of the most virulent or poisonous 
character. I omitted to remark, that buboes are always 
to be poulticed with light bread and milk, or slippery 
elm bark, if they are likely to come to a head. 
REMEDIES FOR CLAP. 
The moment you discover that you have contracted 
this complaint, the symptoms of which I have plainly 
described to you, take at bed time, an active dose of 
calomel — see table for dose — and if necessary, which 
is usually the case, assist the operation of the calomel 
in the morning, with a dose of epsom salts — see table, 
&,c. Take care to live on cooling and simple diet, say 
corn or rye mush and milk, and avoid every thing of a 
heating and irritating nature, such as salted provisions, 
high seasoning, and spirituous liquors. When the med- 
icine I have directed has done operating, use the 
following prescription, and use it with some accuracy 
too: take one ounce, which is about four table spoons- 
ful, of balsam copaiva, (commonly called capiva,) and 
add thereto one table spoonful of spirits of turpentine ; 
mix them well together by shaking, and take thirty 
drops of the mixture, three times a day on some sugar, 
and drink freely of flax seed tea, made by pouring a 
quart of boiling water, on any quantity of flax seed 
convenient. This tea must be taken cold, and used 
freely as a common drink. If you ride on horseback, 
or walk much, or take active exercise, clap is difficult 
to cure, and requires a much longer time, than if you 
remain quiet and stationary while using the above rem. 
edy. I generally cure it in three days, and frequently 
in less time. A dose of salts should be taken every 
pther morning. Sometimes this balsam operates on the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



365 



bowels, without producing the proper effect on the 
urinary organs; if so, reduce the dose to thirty-five 
drops, twice or three times a day, which is to be taken 
as usual on sugar. Cleanliness, and I wish you to mind 
this matter particularly, is very important in the cure 
of this disease ; by which I mean, frequently washing 
the parts well, three or four times a day, with soap and 
water, so as to remove the poisonous matter. Clap is 
generally more mild, and much more easily cured in 
women than men, unless women permit it to remain 
and run on them for some length of time ; in this case, 
the disease becomes painful, and requires the remedies 
prescribed in the cases of men, only in smaller doses 
— say from twenty to thirty drops, of the balsam and 
turpentine, three times a day. If any attention be paid, 
nothing more will be necessary than keeping the parts 
clean by washing with soap and water, and injecting 
up the birth place with a small syringe or leaden squirt, 
the following mixture: — put fifteen grains sugar of lead, 
and fifteen grains white vitriol, in a quart of cold water, 
and let them fully dissolve ; then, of this water, inject 
or throw up the birth place, a syringe full five or six 
rimes a day, and drink freely of flax seed tea, using the 
balsam and turpentine as before directed, if necessary. 
Doctor Chapman, one of the professors of the uni- 
versity of Philadelphia, recommends, the following 
valuable remedy, which is admirably suited to weakly 
persons, and those whose stomachs are much debilita- 
ted. It is, perhaps, better calculated for the summer 
season, being a very mild preparation, than any other. 
I have used it frequently in my practice ; but the first 
remedy is always certain to put a stop to the disease. 
Chapman's remedy. — Take two table spoonsful of 



366 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

balsam capaiva, the same quantity of sweet spirits of 
nitre, some of the white of an egg, and mix them 
together; add, then, one tea-spoonful of laudanum, and 
ten table-spoonsful of cold water; shake the whole 
well together, and the mixture will be ready for use, 
remembering always, to shake the medicine up before 
taking it. Morning, noon, and night, take a table- 
spoonful of this mixture. You may take it with any 
thing that will render it pleasant to the taste. It is an 
excellent, certain and mild remedy, either for males or 
females; and I now again admonish you, that if you 
wish a speedy cure, you are to avoid every heating 
article of food or drink, and to repose much on the 
bed. 

When Clap is permitted by neglect, to go on, or 
when you ride much on horse back, you will be apt to 
have what is called chordee, which I have fully de- 
scribed under the head Clap, and which it is needless 
to repeat. In these cases of chordee, take a dose of 
laudanum on going to bed, see table, and when the 
spasm comes on, which it will, with a partial erection, 
pour cold water over the parts which pain you. Should 
a discharge of blood take place, which is sometimes 
the case, apply cooling poultices of light bread and 
cold milk to the afflicted member, or a poultice of slip- 
pery elm bark. 

The old plan of curing Clap, which it is scarcely 
worth while to mention, was by weak injections of 
sugar of lead and white vitriol ; equal quantities mixed 
in water, and thrown up the canal with a syringe. 
This old and imprudent practice, which in many instan- 
ces occasioned swelling testicles, gleet, and what is 
called running of the reins, has entirely ceased. The 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 367 

methods of cure I have just laid down, are infinitely 
superior in every respect, and are attended with none 
of the dangers of the old manner of cure. 



GLEET. 

Tins disease is sometimes called running of the 
reins. It is a discharge which resembles in consis- 
tence, the white of an egg. Men who have frequently 
had the clap, also those who have been old soldiers in 
the wars of Venus, are very liable to have Gleet. It 
is also produced by too frequent intercourse with wo- 
men, in those enjoyments which ought always to be 
bounded by virtue and moderation. The disease is 
also produced, by that horrible practice of self pollu- 
tion, called onanism; and also by the use of strong 
diuretic medicines, or such as cause a great flow of 
urine. This complaint sometimes resists the powers of 
medicines for years; and operates as a constant drain 
on the strength of the system, by which the constitution 
and vital energies are sometimes prostrated: it is a dis- 
ease that ought never to be neglected. 
REMEDIES. 

You are to bathe the parts four or five times a day 
in cold water ; this cold bathing will act so as to give 
tone and strength to the parts. Obtain a phial of mu- 
riated tincture of iron, and take thirty drops of it three 
times a day, in a wine glass of strong tea, made of the 
dogwood bark ; it must be taken cold. By persevering 
steadily in this remedy, and in cold bathing for a month 
or two, you will probably be relieved of Gleet. You 
may, at the same time, use an injection of red oak bark, 
made by boiling a little of the bark in water, and 



368 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

straining it clear. A little of this tea can occasionally 
be thrown into the canal, by the aid of a small syringe, 
which you can obtain at any doctor's shop ; it must be 
thrown up cold, four or six times a day. In throwing 
up this injection, you are to press your left fore finger 
pretty hard on the lower side of the penis near the root, 
to prevent any part of the injection from getting into 
the bladder 

After a fair trial of the above remedies, and you are 
baffled of success, commence with ten drops of tincture 
of cantharides or Spanish flies, instead of the iron, in 
the tea three times a day, gradually increasing the dose 
to thirty drops, and no more. This is generally, a cer- 
tain remedy. Women may use the iron as directed ; 
but not the last tincture, unless in very small doses of 
eight, ten and fifteen drops, three times a day ; bathing 
frequently with cold water, and with a female syringe 
throwing the bark water up the birth place, five or six 
times a day. Cold water thrown up will also answer 
a good purpose. As the western country abounds with 
chalybeate springs, they ought to be resorted to, and 
used freely of, by all persons laboring under Gleet. I 
suppose I need not tell you, that chalybeate water is 
such as is impregnated with iron. The gum called 
turpentine, of our common pine tree, taken in common 
sized pills, one three times a day, is a valuable remedy 
in Gleet, and has been known to cure it when all other 
remedies have failed. 



til NN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 369 

POISONS. 

Any substance, which, taken into the stomach, or 
into any other part of the body, or applied externally 
to the body, so as to produce disease or death, may be 
railed a Poison. The most active and powerful reme- 
dies we use in medicine, if given in large doses, oper- 
ate as Poisons; but when given in small ones, are not 
only innocent, but valuable. There are, also, many 
medicines, which, when taken into the stomach are 
quite harmless, indeed very valuable in the cure of 
diseases; but, when taken into the lungs by breathing 
or respiration, are dangerous and destructive in the 
extreme. The Poison of the rattlesnake, when taken 
into the stomach is entirely harmless; but the same 
Poison, when inserted into the flesh so as to reach the 
circulation, immediately produces disorder and death, 
unless relief can be obtained. I make these introduc- 
tory remarks on Poisons, to throw as much light on 
their operations as possible, in the fewest number of 
words. 

When mineral Poisons, such as copper, arsenic, 
corrosive sublimate, lead, lunar caustic, &c. &c., are 
taken into the stomach, in too large quantities, you will 
feel a burning and pricking sensation in the stomach, 
and great pain in the bowels, accompanied with a con- 
stant puking, and a thirst which cannot be satisfied. 
Your mouth and throat will become rough and dry, as 
if you had chewed and swallowed an unripe persim- 
mon, and the pain will gradually increase, until it 
becomes almost insupportable. In this stage, unless 
speedy relief is had, inflammation will take place, and 
terminate in mortification and death. Should the dose 
of Poison taken, not be sufficient to destroy life, a fever 

47 



370 GUNN,S DOMESTIC MEDTCINEr 

will take place, which will last for some time, attended 
with a constant trembling of the nerves. 

When vegetable Poison, such as Jamestown weed, 
hemlock, opium, hen bane, deadly night shade, fox 
glove, wolf's bane, laurel, &c. &c, are taken into the 
stomach in too great portions, they produce stupor and 
a constant desire to sleep. The Jamestown weed 
usually produces effects peculiar to itself: — for which, 
and a description of the plant, read under that head. 

When the Poison of animals is introduced into the 
human system, it is communicated by the bites or stings 
of serpents, spiders, &c. &,c, requiring prompt and 
immediate attention to the following remedies, which, 
together with those applicable to other species of Poi- 
sons, mineral and vegetable, are arranged under the 
proper heads. 

THE REMEDIES FOR POISON. 

When any Poison has been swallowed, whether 
vegetable or mineral, the first thing to be done is to 
empty the stomach, by an emetic or puke of the most 
active kind. White vitriol, from five to ten, and even 
twenty grains, should be given in a little warm water, 
and repeated every fifteen or twenty minutes if necessa. 
ry, until free and copious puking is produced, which 
you must encourage and keep up by large draughts of 
warm water. The white vitriol is an innocent puke, 
and acts almost instantaneously; and if the emetic 
should require assistance, apply tobacco leaves, steeped 
in warm vinegar or water, to the stomach ; they will 
materially assist the operation of the vitriol. If the 
patient cannot be made to puke, you must immediately 
give repeated clysters, made of strong flax seed tea 
and sweet milk, and let your patient drink freely of 



GUNN*S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 371 

vinegar and water, sweetened with sugar. If the 
poison taken into the stomach is of the mineral kind, 
beat up the whites of fifteen eggs with a quart of cold 
water, and give half a tea-spoonful every three or four 
minutes; this will greatly assist the puking. From 
taking large doses of opium or laudanum, your patient 
will sometimes sink into a stupor, or deep and insensi- 
ble sleep; when this is the case, stimulants must be 
given, of sufficient power to rouse him if possible. In 
these cases, I have sometimes resorted to scalding the 
soles of the feet with boiling water ; and in one instance 
saw the life of a young man saved, by whipping him to 
keep him in motion. There is one simple and certain 
remedy, however to be found in almost every house: 
take two tea-spoonsful of made mustard, or in other 
words common mustard seed pounded fine and mixed 
as if for eating; put them into some warm water, and 
give the whole as an emetic, and copious puking will 
almost be immediately produced. This simple and 
effective remedy, has been the means of saving hun- 
dreds, who have accidentally or intentionally swallow- 
ed poison. 

I have mentioned that poisons might be taken into 
the lungs, by breathing or respiration. Doctor Paris, 
in his book on diet, speaks decidedly against the intro- 
duction of gas lights into the interior of dwellings, and 
says, "that carburetted hydrogen is a deadly poison, 
which, even in a state of great dilution, is capable of 
exerting a baneful effect on the nervous system. I 
have been consulted," says the Doctor, "on several 
occasions, for pains in the head, and distressing lan- 
guor, which had evidently been produced by the per- 
sons inhaling the unburnt gas in the boxes of play 
houses." Sir Humphrey Davy, the celebrated chemist, 



372 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINK. 

made an experiment on himself, by inhaling pure 
carburetted hydrogen; and the result was, that after 
three inspirations, his vital powers were so completely 
suspended, that he did not recover them until the next 
day. Many instances have occured, of persons sleep- 
ing in close rooms during the night, where small char- 
coal fires had been kept up for warmth, who have been 
found dead in the morning. I mention this as a cau- 
tion; and will, also, notice some other facts respecting 
poisons, which ought to be attended to by those who 
value their safety. 

Medicines should always be strictly examined, espe- 
cially if to be given by inexperienced persons, and 
those not well acquainted with their appearance and 
qualities: even those who make a profession of smelling 
medicines, sometimes make dangerous mistakes in 
them. I have now in my office, three pounds of emetic 
tartar, which I received for cream of tartar ; and, had 
I administered this medicine without detecting the mis- 
take, the results must have been fatal to many. A 
merchant of Knoxville, of the first respectability, re- 
ceived from a young man who attended a drug store in 
Baltimore, emetic tartar, for cream of tartar, and was 
in the very act of giving it to a friend who was indis- 
posed, when the master of the shop arrived in great 
alarm, having discovered the blunder, just in time to 
prevent the fatal consequences. I will give one case 
more, by way of caution respecting mistakes in medi- 
cines. During the summer of 1825, a gentleman from 
South Carolina, stopped at the house of Mrs. H. of 
Patrick county, Virginia; he felt somewhat indisposed, 
and desired to have a dose of salts; through mistake 
he received and took salt petre. Nothing saved him 
but the early arrival of the son of Mrs. H. a gentleman 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 373 

of superior intelligence, who immediately administered 
a powerful emetic, and relieved him. 

Poisons, communicated by the bites of snakes, spi- 
ders, and other insects, are immediately to be attended 
to. The moment you are bitten by a snake, you are to 
tie a tight and strong bandage immediately above the 
bite ; this will prevent the circulation of the blood, and 
give you time to apply the remedies needful for relief. 
As soon as possible, dissolve six grains of lunar caustic 
in six table spoonsful of water, and wet the bitten part 
with it constantly. Every man in the country ought to 
keep a small piece of lunar caustic in his house; it is 
sometimes called nitrate of silver, and is made of pure 
silver, nitric acid, and pure water. If the caustic can- 
not be obtained, make a poultice of quick lime and soap, 
and apply it to the part affected, and give the patient as 
much red-pepper tea as the stomach will bear, and also 
every hour give him a table spoonful of the juice of the 
plantain. In all cases where a physician can be had, 
the best remedy is to cut out the bitten part. The 
Indians, when bitten by a poisonous snake, always 
extract the poison by sucking the wound. There is no 
danger in this operation — I have told you before that the 
venom of the snake, if even taken into the stomach, is 
attended with no danger. The blood should be encour- 
aged to flow from the wound, by scarifying the part 
immediately about it, and applying the cupping instru- 
ments. When you are bitten by a spider, or injured by 
any other insect, apply a linen rag constantly moistened 
with laudanum, spirits of hartshorn, or strong ley. 

I shall record a few cases, in which it will be evident 
that the bite of the rattlesnake may be very easily cured, 
by extremely simple, and always practicable remedies, 
The eases may be found in detail, on pages 619, 620, 



374 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and 621, of the sixth volume of the Medical Recorder 
I shall abridge them. 1st. " One evening at my resi- 
dence, on the hills of Santee," says William Mayrant, 
Esq. (formerly a member of Congress,) "I heard a vio- 
lent scream at no great distance. In a few minutes I 
was called out and was informed that a negro had been 
bitten by a rattlesnake, and was dead, or dying. I 
found him motionless and speechless, his jaws locked, 
and his pulse fluttering and scarcely perceptible. I had 
heard of the successful use of spirits in such cases, both 
among the whites and Indians. I therefore took a glass 
of whiskey, put into it a table-spoonful of powdered red 
pepper, and poured it down his throat — in a few min- 
utes it was puked up, as were also three or four more 
doses. After the fourth glass it remained on his stom- 
ach. His pulse improved greatly in a short time, and 
after getting five or six glasses to remain, I ceased giv- 
ing him any more, until the pulse fell very fast, and nearly 
ceased beating. I again commenced giving him the 
whiskey and pepper, and soon discovered that on ceas- 
ing the stimulants, his pulse would again sink to nothing. 
After taking more than one quart of this liquor, a 
copious stool followed ; the spirit was again adminis- 
tered, until his pulse became steady. During the night 
he took three quarts of whiskey; in the morning he was 
much better, but very weak — he finally recovered. 

2nd. "About a year afterwards, I was called to 
another slave who had been bitten by a rattlesnake ; he 
was in great pain about the chest, and was puking a 
green fluid. I gave him repeated doses of whiskey and 
pepper, until his pulse returned, which had nearly ceased 
to beat; in twelve hours, by the use of about a quart 
of this liquor, he was a well man. 

3d. "I related the above cases to a friend, who had 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 375 

lately arrived from Rio Janeiro, after a residence of 
thirteen years. He told me that the serpents of that 
country were so extremely venomous, as in many instan- 
ces to produce death in fifteen minutes ; and that the 
natives effected their cures, by giving large doses of 
spirits, in which herbs had been stewed. He related 
an instance in which a man was found with one of these 
most poisonous snakes on him, and biting him repeat- 
edly. The snake was killed, and the man taken to the 
house, to all appearances dead. In a short time he 
came to himself, and was unhurt by the poison. The 
fact was, that he had been very drunk, and had fallen 
on the snake ; the stimulus of the liquor had, no doubt 
counteracted the influence of the poison; this was the 
solution of the difficulty." 

These three cases coincide, strongly, with a case pub- 
lished several years since, in the National Intelligencer, 
by the celebrated Doctor Ramsey, in which large doses 
of brandy and opium were given with complete success, 
in the bite of a rattle snake. 

The tincture of cantharides, which is nothing more 
than the Spanish or blistering flies, or our common 
potato fly, steeped for a few days in whiskey or spirits 
of any kind. — Of this tincture, apply a few drops to the 
wound until it occasions a redness. By this application 
the poison is rendered harmless; and the stings of 
insects or reptiles are entirely removed as soon as the 
blister arises. This is a late discovery, and truly a val- 
uable remedy. 

I cannot quit this interesting subject, without noticing 
particularly, that a most excellent remedy in the bites 
of both venomous snakes and spiders, is the immediate 
application of the soft black mud from spring branches, 
or such mud as is used for the daubing of houses. I 



376 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICIKK. 

have never had occasion to try the experiment myself, 
but fully believe from the best authority, that it is an 
efficient and powerful application. 



PAINFUL AFFECTIONS OF THE FACE. 

Tins disease is called by physicians, tic doloreux^ 
and happily for mankind, is of very unfrequent occur- 
rence. It is an acutely painful affection of the nerves 
of the face, particularly over the cheek bone, in which 
the pain shoots with great quickness and suddenness, 
and is almost insupportable for a few seconds, when it 
as suddenly becomes easy. The slightest touch will 
cause it to dart instantly, and sometimes by opening the 
mouth quickly, it will return with a jerking and spas- 
modic affection of the muscles of the face. There is 
in this complaint, neither swelling of the cheek, nor 
any species of inflammation, nor does the pain seem 
deeply seated. 

REMEDIES. 

Remedies for curing this complaint, have long been 
objects of attentive research, with the most distinguished 
and able physicians. The remedies usually resorted 
to, but I confess with very little success, are sulphate of 
zinc, which is white vitriol, Peruvian bark, opium and 
carbonate of iron, given in doses of twenty grains every 
fourth hour. As I have just remarked, these are rem- 
edies attended with Yery little success ; the carbonate of 
iron was for some time considered efficient and benefi- 
cial; but at length, like the other remedies, it fell into 
disrepute. We are now indebted to a common weed 
for the cure of this complaint, a weed which infests our 
gardens, highways, and barn-yards, — it is the common 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 377 

Jamestown weed, usually called the stink weed and 
thorn apple: — read under the head Jamestown weed. 
A physician of much distinction, Doctor John Eberle 
of New York, speaks thus in substance of this weed: — 
In July last, I was called to see a lady aged about 
twenty years, who was suffering very much from this 
complaint in the right side of her face. The parox- 
ysms or fits of pain, were sometimes so very violent as 
to produce temporary loss of reason. She had been 
treated by other physicians with the usual remedies; 
all of which had been found incompetent to afford the 
slightest degree of relief. I prescribed for her the 
extract of Stramonium or Jamestown weed, and gave 
her a grain of this extract every four hours. She com- 
menced with this in the evening, and towards morning 
had intervals of ease, and slept some. She continued 
this medicine during the succeeding day, and experien- 
ced much less pain than she had done for eight days 
previously. After the fourth dose, she felt some vertigo 
or dizziness of the head, and was directed to take the 
medicine only every six hours, in which she persisted 
until entirely relieved and fully cured, which was in a 
few days. "The Jamestown weed," says this eminent 
physician, "is undoubtedly a medicine of great and val- 
uable powers. In chronic rheumatism, I have employed 
it in several instances with the most unequivocal advan- 
tage. In sciatica," (by which the doctor means hip 
gout,) " also, I prescribed it with complete success in 
three cases. We are chiefly indebted to doctor Marcet 
for our knowledge of its efficiency in affections of this 
kind," &c. " If I were called upon," says this writer, 
u to express in a few words, the general opinion which 
I feel inclined to form from the opportunities I have had 
of studying the properties of stramonium,*' Jamestown 

48 



378 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

weed, "I should say, that when given with due caution, 
and in proper doses, in all cases of chronic disease 
attended with acute pain, it will invariably lessen the 
sensibility to pain and suffering." I fully accord with 
the doctor in his opinions, and refer the reader to the 
head Jamestown weed, where he will find an interest- 
ing development of the medical properties and powers 
of this plant. 

The following remedy is taken from the New York 
Medical Inquirer: — "Mr. Abernethy has administered 
the nitrate of silver in this disease," which means lunar 
caustic, "in the dose of one grain twice a day, made 
into pills with conserve of roses," which is nothing 
more than syrup made of rose leaves with sugar or 
honey. 

"A Mr. Thomas also recommends this preparation in 
this most distressing disease. The following is a copy 
Mr. Thomas' prescription: — take of nitrate of silver 
one scruple, nitric acid fifteen drops," which is com- 
monly called aqua fortis, "pure water three ounces ; from 
forty to sixty drops to be taken twice a day, in two table 
spoonsful of camphorated julep." For a description of 
the method of preparing the camphorated julep, read 
under that head. 



LOCKED JAW. 

This disease is called by physicians tetanus — which 
means spasm with rigidity — it is from the Greek word 
which means to stretch. It may be considered an 
involuntary contraction of all the muscles of the body, 
while the patient remains perfectly in his senses. It 
generally arises from wounds; and I have even known 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 379 

it to originate from the slight puncture of a needle, in 
which case it terminated in the death of an amiable 
lady. It comes on with a dull stiffness of the neck and 
head; in a short time the head and neck become diffi- 
cult to move ; the tongue also becomes stiff and difficult 
to be moved about or put out ; the swallowing becomes 
painful; there is a tightness across the breast, some- 
times attended with pain in the small of the back; the 
jaws gradually become stiff, and the teeth clenched; 
this is locked jaw. 

REMEDIES. 
You are immediately to open the wound, if that be 
the cause, with a lancet or other sharp instrument, and 
remove any matter that may be in the wound. Then 
apply spirits of turpentine to the wound, and if the per- 
son is strong, hearty, and in full habit, you are to draw 
blood freely from the arm ; then put your patient in the 
warm bath ; I mean here that the whole body is to be 
immersed in warm water for some time, and give two 
grains of opium. During the time these operations are 
making, a skilful physician must be sought for ; because 
the immense quantities of opium which must be given, 
will make even the best physician dread his own prac- 
iice. Yet such are the fatal consequences of delay and 
timidity in locked jaw, that unless bold remedies are 
used, particularly the use of opium in heavy doses, 
death must certainly take place. Opium has to be 
given in this complaint according to the situation of the 
patient, and the violence of the disease, almost without 
regarding the quantity. That it is the proper remedy 
in spasm there can be no doubt; and that the quantities 
sometimes given in locked jaw are almost incredible, is 
a fact well known to practitioners of medicine. To- 
bacco is highly spoken of in this distressing spasm, 



380 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

given in the form of clysters. Doctor Thomas tells us 
"that many cases are on record, where the astonishing 
quantity of an ounce of opium has been given in twen- 
ty-four hours." To proportion the quantity of opium 
to be given, combined with the administration of clys- 
ters of tobacco, must always require the judgment of a 
skilful physician, and I therefore recommend that one 
always be procured where practicable. In desperate 
cases, where by reason of the clenching of the teeth, 
the patient cannot receive any thing into the mouth, it 
is necessary to remove a front tooth, and sometimes 
more than one. I have never heard of, nor seen the 
practice, but should a case of desperate locked jaw 
occur in my practice, I would try the effect of a strong 
bath made of warm ley, or lye, in which the body of 
the patient should be entirely immersed, at the same 
time that I would give a clyster containing fifteen grains 
of emetic tartar — in addition to which I would stimu- 
late the patient freely with warm toddy. 



CANCER, 

Cancer generally makes its appearance about the 
lips, the nose, and about the breasts of females. It 
sometimes, also, but the instances I am happy to say 
are not very frequent, makes its appearance in the 
womb, in which the cure is very doubtful. Those who 
are advanced in life, are much more subject to cancer- 
ous affections than young persons ; particularly if they 
have scrofulous constitutions, which have descended to 
them from their ancestors. A cancer commences with 
a small inflamed pimple of a bluish color, which 
becomes a sore, with hard rising edges of a ragged and 



(J [INN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 381 

uneven appearance. On a close examination of the 
sore, you will discover two whitish lines crossing from 
the centre to the edge of the sore. At first, a burning 
sensation is felt in the sore, which is accompanied as 
the disease increases with sharp shooting pains. After 
some time these pains subside, and the cancer dischar- 
ges a highly offensive matter; this discharge increases 
gradually, and the matter communicating to the adjoin- 
ing parts, finally ends in a large offensive sore or ulcer, 
of a most dreadful and exhausting nature, always ter- 
minating, unless a cure is effected, in a lingering, pain- 
ful and horrible death. 

REMEDIES. 
The moment cancer is discovered, dissolve ten grains 
of corrosive sublimate in a gill of whiskey, or a gill of 
strong spirits of any kind. Apply cautiously this mix- 
ture to the affected part ; it may be done by making a 
small rag swab, wetting it with the solution just named, 
and touching the affected or sore part with it very 
gently. This operation is to be performed once a day, 
until the cancer is destroyed. This is a powerful medi- 
cine, and the pain produced by its application is very 
severe ; but by an early application of this remedy, and 
bearing the pain of its application fifteen or twenty 
minutes for a few days, it will kill the cancer. It 
should never be used on large ulcers or cancerous 
sores, the pain it inflicts being as severe as if a red hot 
iron were applied. In many cases, when applied at an 
early stage of cancer, I have known this remedy suc- 
cessful. The sores should be washed with salt and 
water and dressed with charcoal plasters. To kill the 
pain, give opium or laudanum — sec table. But not- 
withstanding what lias been said of the foregoing 
remedy, in order to insure a successful cure. I think the 



382 (JUMV'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

parts ought to be removed or cut out at an early period 
of the disease. I have performed the operation fifteen 
or sixteen times with success; the last operation was 

performed on Mr. H , of Monroe county, Virginia, 

during my residence in Botetourt county, of the same 
state, assisted by my medical friends, Doctor M'Dowell 
and Foot, two gentlemen of distinction in the medical 
profession. The gentleman on whom the operation 
was performed, was about 48 years of age. The 
cancer was seated in the lower lip, and was of such a 
size as to require the removal of the lower lip entirely. 
By the suggestions of Doctor M'Dowell but with great 
caution, I cut well down the chin and secured the edges 
of the incision together, after taking out the cancer. 
Singular as it may appear, a new lip was formed. 
The wound healed with the first intentions ; and when 
it was entirely well, the mouth was so extremely small 
as scarcely to admit the end of the fore finger. The 
mouth, however, gradually distended itself by the exer- 
tions of nature, and is now both useful and beautiful. 
Before the operation, the mouth was large and the lips 
coarse and fleshy. On my way out to Tennessee, I 
presented to Dr. Powell of the Boatyard, the old lip, 
and I doubt not he has it now in his possession. A 
remedy for cancer appeared in the public journals some 
years since, which, from its marks of authenticity of 
statement, and success in the case of Thomas Tyrrel, 
I think proper to place on a more durable record. It 
is simply the use of "a strong potash," made of the 
ley of the ashes of reel oak bark, boiled down to the 
consistence of molasses. With this substance, the can- 
cer must be first covered, and in about an hour after- 
wards, the whole is to be covered with a plaster of tar. 
This must be removed after a few days, and if tin t<- 



GUNIfjS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 383 

are any protuberances or lumps in the sore, the ap- 
plications are to be renewed. As far as an opinion can 
be relied on, without actual experiment, I think the 
remedy a good one. 



SCALDS AND BURNS. 

Because we all know well what scalds and burns are, 

and because the saving of space for matters of high 

interest, is important to both the subscribers to this 

work and myself, I shall not attempt to describe them. 

REMEDIES. 

In these accidents, which sometimes unfortunately 
arise from negligence, the important point is, to use 
such remedies as are immediately at hand, or are easi- 
ly obtained for affording direct relief from excruciating 
paim Nature, always a tender parent, bountifully 
affords the best and most soothing remedy, cold wafer; 
in which the parts affected are to be immediately 
plunged. If ice can be obtained, which is but water 
under another character, its application will be as good, 
if not better than mere water, which sometimes cannot 
be had of sufficient coldness. If the body is severely 
scalded or burned, apply cloths kept constantly wet 
with the coldest water. Where the scald or burn takes 
place in children, and to no great extent, the application 
of common tar immediately to the injury, is a valuable 
remedy not often resorted to, but which I earnestly 
recommend. The application of carded cotton to a 
scald or burn, is also an excellent remedy, and one 
which is nearly always convenient. The old method 
of applying sweet or olive oil immediately to a scald or 
burn, is a bad plan, and ought never to be resorted to, 



384 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

until cold water or ice has been appplied for reducing 
the inflammation ; then olive or sweet oil will answer a 
valuable purpose. If oil is not convenient, which is 
often the case, the application of poultices made of raw 
Irish potatoes, carrots or turnips, will be proper; the 
oil, however, if possible to be obtained, is preferable. 
When the patient has been in the greatest pain, and 
every remedy I had applied gave but little relief, I 
have always been able to give instant ease, if I had or 
could procure it, by the application of Turner's cerate. 
For the method of making this very valuable salve, 
look under that head. It must be applied by spreading 
it on linen rags, and covering the burned or scalded 
parts with them; and I suppose I need not tell you, 
that these cerate plasters are to be supplied by new 
ones, every day laid on fresh. This cooling and 
soothing remedy, seems to act like magic, in giving 
relief from the most horrible suffering. On my arrival 
in Montgomery county, Virginia, I was called in con- 
sultation with Doctor Joseph Miller, who was a physi- 
cian by nature, and a man of the highest native genius, 
a man who must have stood at the head of his profes- 
sion, had his great intellectual powers been aided by 
adequate opportunities of education. With this gen- 
tleman I attended on Major . He had been taken 

with a fit, and fallen into a large fire by which he was 
sitting, after his family had retired to bed. Before he 
was discovered by his family and taken out, he was 
literally roasted ; his ribs were perfectly exposed on the 
right side, and the motion of the abdomical viscera, 
(the intestines or guts,) could easily be distinguished 
through the thin membrane. His situation was as 
truly horrible as can well be imagined, and his suffer- 
ings were so very great, as frequently to induce him to 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 385 

pray to us, that something might be given him to end 
the miseries of his existence. Those sufferings must 
indeed be unspeakable, which destroy in man the na- 
tural and deep-seated love of life. By the application 
of Turner's cerate, which was spread on a sheet and 
applied to him, and slippery elm tea given internally, 
this gentleman recovered, and is now living in Mont- 
gomery county, Virginia, near Christiansburgh. I 
mention this case in all its horrors, to induce every 
family into whose hands this book may fall, always to 
have in their possession Turner's cerate for immediate 
application. 



CORNS. 

We all know what corns are, and it is useless to 
consume time in describing them. Remedies. — To 
get rid of them in the shortest possible time, bathe the 
foot or feet well in warm water, about half an hour 
before going to bed. When the corns have become 
soft from bathing, shave down the horny parts smooth^ 
but not so close as to produce blood ; then moisten the 
tops of them with spittle, and rub over them a little 
lunar caustic, which you can easily procure. This 
caustic must be gently rubbed on, until a sufficiency of 
it sticks on the corns, to change them first to a dark 
gray color and next to a deep black. Put a little cotton 
over them, to prevent the stocking from rubbing them, 
and in a few days they will come out by the roots; this 
is the remedy of Doctor Brown of Philadelphia, and 
if is a good one. 

49 



386 GUJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

WARTS. 

We all know what warts are, and it is also useless to 
describe them. Remedies. — Put on each wart a small 
blister of Spanish flies, which can easily be confined 
by adhesive plaster of any kind. In a few days the 
warts will come out, when you may use the lunar 
caustic, as in the case of corns; or you may wet the 
warts with a little sulphuric acid or oil of vitriol, which 
will soon bring them off; or with nitre acid or aqua 
fortis, which will produce the same effect. 



DISEASES OF WOMEN. 



When we consider the important relations, in which 
woman stands to man in every department of life — 
when we consider, that in one relation, she is the wife 
of his bosom, the chosen companion of his heart, the 
voluntary sharer of his prosperity and misfortunes, the 
mother of that offspring, in whose life and prosperity, 
man even in the decline of life, and the decay of health, 
lives over again the youthful vigor and tender passions 
of his early years ; — when we consider, that in another 
relation, as the sincere lover of his virtues, and the 
admirer of his heroic and noble achievements, she 
urges man to perseverance in the performance of his 
moral duties, and to those sentiments of patriotism 
which gave to the ancient republics their statesmen and 
heroes — to Ireland her Emmets, to England her Sid- 
neys, and to America her Washingtons — and when we 
consider, that in another and important relation, the 
minute and apparently ignoble cares of a family de- 
volve on her, where there are no witnesses to support 
her under endless sufferings and trials, and where no 
civic crowns or public honors await her victories over 
domestic miseries, and ignoble sufferings and misfor- 
tunes, we cannot but be astonished at the fortitude, the 
courage, the devotedness, the fidelity to her duties, and 
the heroic virtues of woman. Place man in her situa- 
tion, and compel him to perform the duties of woman, 
and he would soon either degenerate into a savage, or 



388 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

sink into perfect insignificance. Placed in the limited 
sphere of the employments of woman, and man would 
soon feel himself an obscure and lonely slave — doomed 
like her to a life of obscurity and domestic cares, 
where the anticipation of no honors would await the 
performance of his duties, his boasted magnanimity 
and fortitude would expire like meteors of night, and 
leave him a monument of powerless and fallen ambi- 
tion! And, how soon would his boasted philanthropy 
and love of mankind expire, were there no historians 
to record his deeds of benevolence and patriotism, and 
transmit them to future ages ; and especially, were there 
no honors to be gathered but such as grew on the 
brows of obscure and suffering humanity, and such as 
would fade in the grasp and be remembered no more! 
Woman! when we reflect on thy blameless life, thy 
artless tenderness, thy pious simplicity, thy confiding 
love, and the meek and lowly resignation of thy heart 
and feelings, under the pressure of miseries and mis- 
fortunes of almost every possible character, it seems 
difficult for the most humane of mankind, duly to ap- 
preciate either thy sufferings or thy worth! But, when 
to these considerations are added the multiplicity of 
diseases entailed on thee by nature and sexuality, as 
well as by the ignorance of the midwives of this coun- 
try, thy lot and condition of present existence, seems 
hard indeed! Most of the midwives of this country, 
and indeed of most other countries, are those who 
take up the employment from too great laziness to exert 
themselves in other walks of life ; from utter ignorance 
of the great responsibilities attached to such a calling, 
and from a heartless destitution of feeling and human- 
ity, which permits their ignorance and officiousness, to 
entail diseases originating in mismanagement, on 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 389 

thousands of women for life. These people are always 
seen wishing to officiate in something which had better 
be let alone ; in fact, if I must speak in plain terms, in 
attempting to force nature into premature and exhaust- 
ing exertions, who, if let alone so far as not to be 
retarded in her operations, would finish her own work 
without injury to the sufferer. I do not mention this to 
cast censure on all midwives; I am acquainted with 
several of excellent qualifications, who are kind, feel- 
ing and experienced, and who possess the excellent good 
sense, never to hazard or exceed the due bounds of 
prudence; and who, in all cases where there is linger- 
ing and difficulty, always so far distrust their own 
judgment, as to require the aid of a skilful physician. 
Women should never dread the time of child-birth, but 
always reflect on the innumerable millions of cases, in 
which women have passed safely through the trial, for 
one, perhaps, which has been unfortunate. 

When a physician is called in, which in many cases 
is absolutely essential to the preservation of life, and the 
safety of the child, his whole solicitude should concen- 
trate in feelings and sentiments of humanity; in such 
cases, therefore, no woman, however delicate or even 
fastidious in her feelings or sentiments, ought to feel 
any hesitation in permitting the assistance of a physi- 
cian ; life is always to be preserved, and the safety of 
human beings ensured, by much greater sacrifices than 
those which pertain to feelings of bashfulness, or even 
sentiments of modesty. When I speak of calling in a 
physician, with permission to render the essential assis- 
tance to nature in child-birth, I mean a man of delicacy 
of sentiment and feeling, tried and well known discre- 
tion, and dignified elevation of character; I do not 
moan a beardless boy, who has dozed over a medical 



390 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

book for a year, or even two, without understanding its 
contents, and who is as proud of the name of doctor as 
is a child of a pair of new morocco shoes — such a 
physician would be worse than an ignorant and offi- 
cious midwife, who always wishes to be doing some- 
thing, right or wrong. When young in my profession, 
I always thought it necessary to be giving some little 
article in all cases; in other words something that 
would do neither good nor harm — this kind of conduct 
will do well enough, so far as it has a tendency to keep 
up and animate the spirits of the patient, but here it 
ought to stop. My good old preceptor or master, who 
had for more than forty years officiated successfully as 
a man-midwife, gave me the following advice, which I 
recommend most sincerely to the attention of all my 
readers — " neither hurry nor retard nature ; give her 
time to perform her own operations, and when she fails 
assist her." 



MENSES OR COURSES. 
The early or late discharge of the menses or courses, 
depends very much on the climate; the constitution of 
the woman as to strength or weakness ; on the emotions 
or passions of the mind, or in other and plainer 
terms, on the lasciviousness or chastity of her venereal 
desires. In all cold climates, this discharge is later in 
making its appearance than in warm ones. Fruit ripens 
sooner in warm latitudes than cold ones, and it is the 
same with females. In the genial climate of Italy, girls 
have their courses at nine years old, but in the colder 
regions of Russia, this discharge does not come on 
until women are from twenty to twenty-five years of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 391 

age, and then not unfrequently in very small quantities. 
In all warm climates, says a distinguished writer, 
women exhibit all the splendor of their charms, when 
they are mere children in understanding; but, when 
their minds have arrived at maturity, they cease to be 
objects of love. 

In the western country, although the climate is mild, 
it is much subject to changes, particularly in East Ten- 
nessee. These changes produce powerful effects on the 
health of women, and also on their constitutions. The 
western country is damp and wet during the winter 
season, in consequence of which, women from being 
exposed to wet feet, are subject to more irregularities in 
this discharge called the menses or courses, than in any 
other part of the United States. When the usual 
period for this discharge comes on, a little attention on 
the part of the parent will be sufficient to discover the 
symptoms. Many girls have their discharges without 
inconvenience, while others suffer considerably when 
the period is about to come on, such as a great rest- 
lessness, slight fever, head ache, heavy and dull pain 
in the small of the back and bottom of the belly, swelled 
and hardened breasts, and so on. The appetite becomes 
delicate, the limbs tremble and feel weak, the face 
becomes pale, and there is a peculiar dark streak or 
shade under the eyes. When these symptoms and 
feelings occur, every thing should be done to assist 
nature in bringing forward this discharge. This is a 
critical period of life, and much depends on the result. 
The greatest possible precautions should be used to 
prevent the girl from taking cold at this time, because 
by very slight exposures, nature may be prevented from 
performing this very important office, by the failure of 
which, some of the most fatal female diseases are pro- 



392 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

duced. Exercise should be taken on horseback at this 
time, or indeed any exercise that will give free circula- 
tion to the blood ; the emotions and passions of the 
mind, ought also to be particularly attended to ; a cheer- 
ful disposition should be produced and kept up, at the 
same time that every effort should be made to banish 
grief, despondency, or any of the depressing passions, 
which I need not tell you have a powerful effect in pre- 
venting the due discharge of the menses or courses. 
The discharges in their first appearance are in small 
quantities, and rather irregular as to time, but gradu- 
ally, in healthy women, become regular, and flow 
monthly. While in a state of pregnancy, or when 
suckling children, women do not have these menses or 
courses, nor do they ever become pregnant, or in plain 
terms, get with child, until this menstrual discharge 
makes its appearance on them. Women also cease to 
breed, when this menstrual discharge leaves them, in 
advanced life. The period when this discharge com- 
mences on women, and the period when it leaves them, 
are critical and dangerous periods of time, to the health 
and constitution of women. As I shall describe the 
remedies more fully, in cases where the menses have 
been established, and have suddenly stopped, from cold 
or other causes, I shall merely remark here, that in all 
cases where the first symptoms of menses make their 
appearance in young girls, they should use mild and gen- 
tle methods of courting nature to the performance of her 
office, by sitting over the steam of warm herbs, bathing 
their feet and legs at the same time in warm water, as 
high as the knees, or what is preferable, use the wafm 
or tepid bath — see page 156 — and drink freely of warm 
penny-royal tea. These remedies should be used a 
short time before going to bed, so that a gentle moisture 



GUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 393 

or sweat may be produced on the skin, which generally 
causes the menses or courses to flow. This discharge 
is usually at first very small, but by attending to this 
simple course, which I have laid down, when the proper 
or expected time has arrived for their appearance, 
nature will gradually become regular, and the menses 
or courses be produced. The quantity, as I have 
observed, will at first be quite small, perhaps just suffi- 
cient to stain the linen or shift, which will increase in 
quantity at every period or monthly return. As this 
discharge depends very much on climate, constitution, 
manner of living, and exercise, you will easily account 
for its differing in quantity, not only in different women, 
but even in the same woman, increasing or diminishing 
according to the state of the system. In all southern 
or warm climates, the quantity discharged is from eigh- 
teen to twenty ounces; but in colder climates, it dimin- 
ishes accordingly, even to one or two ounces. The 
length of time the menses or courses remain on, and the 
time of their monthly return, differ very much in women ; 
in some it will remain but a few hours or a day — in 
others, from two to four days, and I have even known 
it to remain ten days. The common or usual time, 
however, is from three to six days. In the western 
country, the menses generally cease at about the forty- 
fifth year; this, however, depends very much upon the 
period they make their appearance — if at an early age, 
they go off earlier, and if at a later period, they some- 
times continue to fifty years. About the expected time 
that the menses or courses should flow, which will be 
easily known from the description I have given you of 
the symptoms, you are to avoid every thing that may 
injure the digestive powers, and particularly costivenes s 
or being bound in the bowels, loss of sleep, exposures 

50 



394 GUNN'S D031ESTIC MEDICINE. 

of any kind, such as damp feet, or sudden changes from 
warm to thin clothing. Girls in the country should be 
prevented, about this time, from wading in the water, or 
walking bare-foot through the dew, as it often stops this 
discharge. Getting cold, from any imprudence or unne- 
cessary exposure, must also be avoided. On the subject 
of medicines, you are particularly requested, as you 
value the health of your child, to give no strong medi- 
cines in the first stage of the menstrual discharge, called 
vulgarly forcing medicines. This indeed is a proper 
name, for you are truly forcing nature, which is contrary 
to every principle of common sense ; for this discharge, 
unless stopped from some one of the causes I have men- 
tioned, will assuredly yield to pat^ionce and simple 
remedies; after a full trial, and sufficient time allowed? 
and you are disappointed in bringing them on, you will 
try cautiously and mildly, the various remedies under 
the following head — "obstruction of the menses," — 
where you will find the valuable remedy, " seneka snake 
root," — for a full description of which important root, 
in the stoppage of the menses or courses, read under 
the head seneka snake root. 



OBSTRUCTED MENSES. 
When the menses or courses have once been regu- 
lar, and have been stopped from any accidental cause, 
such as cold, and so on, they are said to be obstructed. 
This is sometimes attended with pain ; when this is the 
case, it is called obstructed or painful menstruation, and 
is attended with greater or less misery, according to the 
state of the system at the time this obstruction takes 
place, and more particularly if any other part of the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 395 

body is laboring under disease; for the womb, from 
whence the menses or courses flow, is subject to great 
varieties of diseased action, and it is utterly impossible 
for me to describe, the close connexion, which is imme- 
diately and sensibly felt, between the womb, the stom- 
ach, the head, and the influence or power it has on the 
pulse. In six cases out of ten, where hysterics, despon- 
dency of mind, sickness of the stomach, pains in the 
head, coldness of the hands and feet, flushings of heat 
over the whole body, and not unfrequently fever, arise 
from obstructed menses or courses, or some disordered 
state of the womb. I have had, in my practice, many 
females who became greatly alarmed from the spitting 
of blood. This is frequently the case, where the 
obstruction has been for any length of time, accompanied 
by frequent bleeding at the nose, dry short cough, pains 
in the bottom of the belly, and in the small of the back, 
pulse hard and quick, skin hot, and burning sensations 
in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. When 
these last symptoms take place, immediate attention 
should be paid, or consumption will take place. A 
skilful physician most be sought for, if the remedies, 
after a fair and steady trial, should not produce the dis- 
charge. In some instances, this obstruction of the 
menses or courses, arises from debility or weakness of 
the constitution. This will be known by the whites 
making their appearance. When this is the case, you 
must not force nature, but give tonic or strengthening 
medicines to restore the system first; then the remedies 
that follow, beginning with those that are most simple, 
until the menses or courses are produced. 



396 ©IJNN'S domestic: medicevf. 

REMEDIES. 
If the woman is of a robust or full habit of body, the 

loss of some blood from the foot will be proper. A 
short time before the return of the menses or courses, 
warm cloths wrung out of hot water must be applied to 
the bottom of the belly ; this is to be done a few nights 
before the expected time, or you may sit upon the steam 
of common pine tops, on which boiling water has been 
poured ; or you may sit in a tub of warm water for 
fifteen or twenty minutes before you go to bed, and 
while sitting in the warm water, have your feet bathed 
in another tub or vessel, in which the water should be 
as warm as you can conveniently bear it, or plunge the 
feet and legs in and out frequently, as you may be able 
to bear the heat of the water. While you are bathing 
or steaming over the pine tops, use the following remedy , 
which must be prepared and kept ready for use when 
you are going to bathe: — one ounce of seneka snake- 
root is to be bruised with a hammer, then put it into a 
quart of boiling water, and stew it over a slow fire to 
half a pint; of this tea take a table spoonful every ten 
minutes while bathing, or while over the steam. For 
a full description of this valuable <root, see that head 
When you have used these remedies for a quarter or 
half an hour, retire to bed, and have the bottom of 
your belly well rubbed with a coarse warm towel, or a 
soft brush ; this is called friction, the intentiou of which 
is to rouse the circulation, excite the womb to action, 
and cause the menses or courses to discharge or flow. 
You will find the following medicine to be a valuable 
assistant in producing this discharge, and it should be 
taken for one, two, and even three nights before the 
expected time — five grains of aloes, five grains of rhu- 
barb, and five grains of calomel, must be finely pow- 



GlINN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 397 

dered and mixed together well, and should the dose not 
produce a stool or two by morning, you are to take a 
small dose of epsom salts to assist the operation. If 
the dose should purge you too severely, the next dose 
should be less, say three grains of each instead of five, 
or even two grains of each will answer; your own 
judgment will easily regulate the dose to the constitu- 
tion of the person. Or you may apply a small blister 
a day or two before the time, between the fundament 
and birth place, called by physicians the perineum, 
giving at the same time, a purgative twice or even 
three times a day of aloes, each dose five grains. 
Should these remedies all fail, inject or throw up with 
a syringe or squirt, into the vagina, a mixture of strong 
whiskey and water, so as to irritate or excite an action 
in the womb. As I have remarked in the first instance, 
the loss of some blood will generally be found benefi- 
cial, unless the constitution or health of the woman 
will not admit of the loss of blood, which is not very 
frequently the case. The loss of blood always tends to 
assist the womb to return to its natural action. Mad- 
der, which is known to every person in the country as 
a dye, and may be purchased at any of the stores, is 
highly recommended by the late Doctor Barton of 
Philadelphia, late professor of the medical school in 
that city, in doses of twenty or thirty grains. The 
tincture of gum guaiacum, in doses of a table-spoonful 
in half a cup of new milk may be given. This tincture 
is made in the following manner: — obtain one ounce of 
gum guaiacum, which is worth about ninepence, mash 
or pound it fine with a hammar, and put it in a pint of 
spirits of any kind ; let it steep for ten days, shaking it 
daily, and you have the tincture of gum guaiacum, it 
briniz then fit for use. Doctor Dewees, professor of 



398 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

midwifery, in the medical school of Philadelphia, as- 
serts, that in the experience of thirty-two years, it has 
never failed him in producing the menses or courses. 
Of this spirit, put a table-spoonful in the milk, and 
gently pour off the spirit, so as not to shake it at the 
time you are about to use it. I have now given you 
the different and important remedies, out of which you 
may select which you please for use j they are all valu- 
able. You will, however, bear in mind, that the efforts 
to be made to bring on the menses or courses, should 
take place about the expected time, or a little time be- 
fore it. The constitution of the woman, must be fully 
and properly examined, so as not to force, but to assist 
nature in her operations. 



GREEN SICKNESS. 

When the menses or courses have been retained or 
stopped for any length of time, and the whole system 
becomes diseased from a want of this discharge, so 
necessary to the health of every female, it terminates or 
ends frequently in what is called chlorosis or green 
sickness. When this is the case, the skin turns of a 
pale yellow or greenish hue; the lips become pale or 
of a purple color; the eyes have a dark or purple 
tinge around them; on making the least exertion, the 
heart palpitates or beats ; the knees tremble, and there 
is a frequent sighing without knowing the cause. 
The mind is very fickle, and the woman dislikes, or 
seems to want the power to attend to her domestic 
concerns. The cheeks are frequently flushed, similar 
to consumption ; the feet swell, and the whole system 
seems to sink under debility or great weakness, I have 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICIJNE. 399 

now described to you the symptoms which I alluded to, 
when I directed you to examine the constitution, and 
not to force nature, especially when tonic or strengthen- 
ing medicines are required to restore the whole system, 
before any attempt ought to be made to bring on the 
menses or courses. The treatment, in this last stage 
called green sickness, should be as follows: — as little 
medicine as possible should be given; in fact, nothing 
but some simple medicine, such as will prevent costive- 
ness by keeping the bowels open, such for instance as 
a tea-spoonful of epsom salts, and a tea-spoonful of 
magnesia, ground finely and well mixed together, to be 
taken in a cup full of cold water when necessary for 
this purpose; travelling on horse-back, or moderate 
exercise. Good Madeira wine, taken frequently and in 
small quantities; bitters, made of equal quantities of 
wild cherry-tree bark and poplar bark usually called 
swamp poplar, steeped in wine for several days, and 
taken in moderate doses; or tea made of the flowers 
of garden chamomile, and taken cold, in dose of a 
wine-glass full, three or four times a day. The chaly- 
beate water should be used very freely. The western 
country abounds with these waters ; for they are to be 
found on almost every branch or creek. Chalybeate 
waters, are those springs which are impregnated with 
iron. By these remedies, the whole system will be 
restored, and in due time the menses or courses will 
again appear ; at which time, mild and gentle remedies 
are to be used, to court nature to the proper perfor- 
mance of this necessary and important discharge. 



400 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

THE GREAT DISCHARGE OF THE MEN- 
SES OR COURSES. 

When the menses or courses come on suddenly or 
irregularly, and the discharges for several days are 
greater than usual, by which the woman is greatly 
reduced and weakened — this is called excessive men- 
struation. The causes are, too great a determination 
of blood to the womb; or in other words, too great an 
action in its vessels. This over quantity, or large dis- 
charge, generally takes place in delicate women, par- 
ticularly those who take but little exercise, or those 
who sit a great deal ; such as milliners or seamstresses, 
and in fact all who lead sedentary lives, and are addict- 
ed to such unhealthy habits. 

REMEDIES. 

Draw blood from the arm immediately ; and regulate 
the quantity taken, by the constitution, the habits, and 
the strength of the woman: there are few cases that do 
not admit of a little blood being drawn. Give a purge 
of epsom salts or castor oil, and let your patient go to 
bed and there remain; she must be kept as cool as 
possible, with her hips a little raised. The room also 
must be made and kept as cool as possible. If the 
discharge of blood is considerable, apply cloths wet 
with cold water to the birth-place, and even push them 
up it; at the same time injecting cold water up with a 
female syringe or pewter squirt. There is no danger 
whatever in these cold applications; therefore do not 
hesitate to use them if necessary. I have always used 
ice in my practice in Virginia, by putting it in a towel 
or piece of flannel, and applying it to the belly. If the 
blood flows rapidly, make a plug with cloth, and push 
it well up the birth-place, so as to prevent the blood 
from flowing, or that it may congeal and stop. Should 



CiUNX'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 101 

these remedies fail, you must resort to the following 
remedy, which should only be used in extreme danger: 
Mix two grains of sugar of lead with a quarter of a 
grain of opium; give a pill of this mixture every two 
hours, made with a little honey, until the discharge of 
blood is lessened. If the patient is very much exhaust- 
ed, give laudanum in the dose of fifteen drops, occa- 
vSionally — or administer opium, see table for dose, 
administering either laudanum or opium, according to 
the urgency of her situation — pains, &c. as both these 
medicines will give strength, and allay the great irrita- 
tion of the nervous system. Or if there is great pain 
in the womb, administer a clyster — look under that 
head. The clyster must be made of the bark of slip- 
pery elm, by pouring boiling water on the inside part 
of the bark. It is to be perfectly cold, and in it put a 
tea-spoonful of laudanum. Throw this clyster up the 
fundament, out of which passes the stool. These clys- 
ters are to be given every hour, until relief is obtained. 
Every thing used at this time as a drink, should be 
perfectly cold. Nothing heating, of any description, 
ought to be given, either as food or drink, during this 
great flow of the menses or courses. 

To prevent a return of this discharge, when once 
relieved, take moderate exercise: bathe the back and 
belly frequently in cold water, and take the salt bath — '• 
see under the head cold bath. Take moderately, 
the best old Madeira wine; and a short time before 
the expected discharge lose some blood from the arm. 
At all times, you are to pay particular attention to 
your bowels: that is, not to permit them to become 
costive or bound. Morning and night, when you rise, 
or retire to bed, use friction; — which means rubbing 

rhc whole body, for twenty or thirty minutes, with a 

31 



402 GUJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

brush or coarse towel — this should be done by a ser- 
vant or assistant. This last remedy is truly worthy of 
strict attention. 



CESSATION OF THE MENSES OR COUR- 
SES. 

A cessation of the menses or courses, means an 
entire stoppage of these discharges, or a change of 
nature in this respect, at an advanced period of life. 
This revolution or change takes place, generally speak- 
ing, from the forty-second to the forty-seventh year: it 
is a critical and extremely dangerous period of a wo- 
man's life, and although thousands pass through it 
without experiencing any great inconvenience, it is a 
period which requires particular attention and care. 

All exposures to cold and damp must be scrupulous- 
ly avoided ; and particularly wet feet, and remaining 
any length of time on the damp ground. Sudden 
changes of dress are also extremely hazardous at this 
period ; in fact, every thing that produces sudden revo- 
lutions in the bodily system, from extremes of heat — 
cold and dampness. By not attending to what I have 
just laid down, you will be sure to lay the foundations 
of diseases of a multiplied and stubborn character, 
which will be sure to embitter and distress the remain- 
der of your life, be it long or short. 

The courses, about this time of life, begin to lessen 
in quantity, and to become more or less irregular in 
their discharges. When you are likely to suffer some 
inconvenience in this change of nature, you will have 
warning by the occurrence of the following symptoms: 
You will have pains in the head and small of the back, 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 403 

trembling of the knees, flushing and burning of the 
face, choking sensations in the throat, sickness of the 
stomach, dizziness or swimming in the head, and 
frequently mists before your eyes. You must now 
live on spare diet, and as I have just told you, avoid 
all kinds of cold, damp, and wet. 
REMEDIES. 
Very few medicines are to be taken in this state 
of the system, and those that are taken must be of the 
most simple, mild, and innocent kind. For the pur- 
pose of keeping your bowels open, and removing all 
causes of irritation, use purges of epsom salts, or cas- 
tor oil when necessary; they will always cool the 
system, and allay any dangerous irritations. If you 
are of a robust and full habit of body, and have dizzi- 
ness and pains in the head, cupping on the temples, so 
as to draw some blood, will give relief. For the method 
of cupping, which is very simple, look under that head. 
Or, if you should not like the pltm of cupping, or if it 
be inconvenient, you may occasionally draw a little 
blood from the arm ; when those unpleasant feelings I 
have described make their appearance. Temperance, 
or in other words, abstaining from strong food, and 
living on very spare and simple diet, is greatly more 
important than any medicines that can be taken; — nor 
will any medicines be necessary in most cases, other 
than such as will keep the bowels in a gently laxative 
state, as mentioned before, with cupping if considered 
necessary. You should take moderate exercise in good 
weather on horse-back, and above all other remedies, 
use regularly friction; which means rubbing the whole 
body, twice a day, with a brush or coarse towel — 
morning and evening. This friction you are not to 
neglect, because it is very important at tins period. 



404 GTTJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

You are, also, to keep die birth-place perfectly clean. 
by washing daily those parts, in milk-warm water and 
soap. Unless these parts are kept perfectly clean, they 
retain a secretion which I need not name, — which irri- 
tates and excites diseased action in the womb. When- 
ever you feel pain in your back, belly, &c. &c. take 
the warm or tepid bath, which you are to make suffi- 
ciently warm to be pleasant. For a description of 
this bath, see page 156. If pain is felt in the head, 
stomach, or breast, a blister must be applied between 
the shoulders, which will give relief. You may take 
off the blister, after it has been on two or three hours, 
if the pain has been removed by its application, as is 
sometimes the case after the skin has become red from 
the blister. But the warm bath, moderate bleeding, 
and keeping the bowels open with the mild medicines 
I have described, will afford you the necessary ease 
and relief in your situation, provided you keep yourself 
in a perfect state of rest, on your bed. 

If the pain in the womb be considerable, and you 
have any fears of an inflammation in those parts, apply 
a large blister over the belly — which blister is to be 
dressed with sweet oil. You are, also, to give clysters 
frequently, which are to be thrown well up the bowels, 
say three or four times a day. They are to be made 
of slippery-elm bark, by pouring boiling water on the 
inside bark, and letting the water stand until about 
milk warm ; — this water is to be thrown up, as directed 
under the head clystering. If the inflammation is 
great in the womb, throw up the birth-place, with the 
clyster-pipe, the slippery-elm water, five or six times a 
day; but remember it is to be perfectly cold, when you 
throw it up the birth-place: when thrown up the funda- 
ment into the bowels, it is to be milk warm. There i< 



(i INN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 105 

an excellent preparation, which can easily be made, to 
throw up the birth-place, — which is perhaps better than 
the slippery-elm water. Take two tea-spoonsful of 
sugar of lead, and put them in a quart of the coldest 
water. After the lead is dissolved it will be fit for use. 
Of this lead water, throw up about a gill, mixed with 
about a gill of slippery-elm water. Do this occasion- 
ally. 

Should an ulcer or sore break out on the legs, or 
any part of your body, be very careful not to heal it up 
immediately or very suddenly; it is an effort of nature 
to relieve herself of the discharge. It may be necessa- 
ry for me to remark, that if the womb is painful, and 
there is no danger of inflammation, apply over the 
belly and to the small of the back, warm herbs, or 
warm salt, or bladders filled with warm water — and 
take a dose of laudanum or opium ; — see table of doses. 
By attending closely to these instructions, which I have 
laid down plainly, you will pass through this change of 
nature with safety, and no doubt enjoy through the 
winter of old age, an exemption from those complaints 
which are too apt to occur, from neglect of this impor- 
tant change of the female constitution. 



THE WHITES. 
This disease is called by physicians fliwr albus. It 
is an unnatural aiK* white colored discharge from the 
birth-place, and is produced from various causes: such 
for instance, as the powers of the womb being impair- 
ed, by severe labors, repeated miscarriages, getting out 
of bed too soon after child-birth, or by taking cold 
al this time, or any other time when the menses or 



406 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

courses are about coming on; or, by over fatigue or 
weakness, produced by general bad health ; or where 
the general secretions and excretions have been deran- 
ged by disease; as the womb always more or less 
sympathises with the whole system. Women who are 
of weakly or delicate constitutions, and take but little 
active exercise, and such as have had many children, 
are much subject to the fluor albus or whites. I have 
known many instances, in which the whites made their 
appearance monthly, instead of the natural menses or 
courses. This is generally the case where the woman 
is laboring under the suppression of the menstrual dis- 
charge, or some weakness or derangment of the whole 
system. I shall now describe the means of knowing the 
whites from the clap. 

In the clap there is a swelling of the parts, an itching 
and uneasy feeling, and much heat in making water- 
In a little time, both the inside and outside of the parts 
become inflamed, and give much heat and scalding in 
evacuating the urine; if these symptoms occur, you may 
be tolerably certain you have taken the clap, in which 
case you will find the means of relief distinctly laid 
down, from pages 355 to 367. 

The whites are called by this name, because the dis- 
charges resemble the white of an egg, or the mucus or 
slime which runs from the nose when you have a cold- 
There are three or four stages of this complaint between 
its mildest and its severest form ; and if permitted to run 
on, it will entirely destroy the constitution of the woman, 
by reducing her flesh and muscular strength. Her 
complexion will change to a sickly pale color; she will 
become very weak, and her heart will palpitate or beat 
with the slightest personal exertion. As this disorder 
seldom stops without medical assistance, means ought 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 407 

always to be immediately used, or it will commit great 
ravages on the female constitution. The whites come 
on very irregularly, sometimes the discharge is in lumps, 
but more frequently it is of a white, slimy, ropy consis- 
tence. If the disease is of the mildest form, the dischar- 
ges resemble the white of an egg, having no smell, and 
no color but that just mentioned. In the second stage, 
the discharges are of a light yellow or straw color, and 
something offensive to the smell. In the third stage, the 
discharges are of a greenish color, of a tough and gluey 
consistence, and quite offensive in smell. In the worst 
sta^e of the disease, or when the disease has been per- 
mitted from ignorance or negligence to run on, the 
discharges are very offensive, and mixed with blood ; 
the face becomes of a sickly greenish hue; under the 
eyes there is an unnatural color; the lips become pur- 
ple ; the feet and legs swell ; the face becomes subject 
to flushes of heat; there is a dry cough and great diffi- 
culty of breathing, particularly on the slightest exertion ; 
and unless relief is obtained, the disease will, after this 
stage, terminate either in consumption or dropsy. 

I shall now proceed to describe the effects which the 
disease produces in the different stages of its advance- 
ment. When it is slight, or in its mildest form, and the 
general health of the woman is not much impaired, there 
is a pain in the back, the menses are not regular, and 
on the slightest exertion the woman feels a shooting and 
afterwards a heavy pain in the back. In the second 
stage, the above symptoms are felt most constantly and 
severely; the stomach becomes disordered; the head 
aches ; the bowels are costive or bound up ; there is a 
dizziness or swimming in the head ; and there seems a 
heavy pain in the bottom of the belly, and at the upper 
part of (he thighs. In the severest form of the disease, 



108 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

the symptoms of which I have already described, all the 
indications or marks of dyspepsia or indigestion take 
place: for a description of which complaint see under 
that head. The whole system becomes disordered and 
unhealthy ; the menstrual discharge entirely stops ; and 
the woman, from general debility and weakness, sinks 
rapidly into a decline, and ends either in consumption 
or dropsy, as I have said before. 
REMEDIES. 
There is no remedy in the first stage of this complaint 
equal to scrupulous cleanliness, or bathing well those 
parts in cold water three or four times a day, and inject* 
ing up the birth place, frequently, the same thing, cold 
water. Sleep on a mattrass instead of a feather bed, or 
in other words, a hard bed of any kind. Rise early 
and take proper exercise; and if convenient to a cha- 
lybeate spring, or one whose waters are impregnated 
with iron, drink freely of those waters. The western 
country abounds with waters of this description; and 
they are a most valuable remedy for women laboring 
under this disease, or any irregularity of the menses or 
courses. The bowels are to be kept open, with mild 
laxative medicines, such as epsom salts or castor oil. 
From fifteen to twenty drops of balsam copaiva are to 
be given on sugar, three times a day ; which if necessary 
are to be continued eight or ten days, or even more, if 
found essential. I have relieved this complaint, when 
all the different remedies had been tried, by simply 
using the turpentine from the common pine tree. It 
must be made into pills with honey, and one of the pills 
given two or three times a day, using at the same time, 
the following injection, which is to be thrown up the 
birth place three or four times a day. A tea-spoonful 
of sugar of lead is to be put into a pint of spring water 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 409 

and permitted to remain until dissolved. Obtain at any 
doctor's shop, a female syringe, which is a pewter squirt 
with holes in the end of it. With this instrument you 
are to throw up the lead water three or four times a day. 
You will find this a valuable remedy. If it be incon- 
venient to get the sugar of lead, make a decoction of 
white-oak bark, by boiling it in water — and of this 
water, when perfectly cold, throw up the birth-place as 
often, and about the same quantity that you would of 
the lead water. 

If the discharge is very offensive from the parts, you 
should introduce up the birth-place every morning and 
night about a tea-spoonful of common charcoal, pounded 
as line as possible. This will entirely remove the offen- 
sive smell. 

If the directions I have given do not restrain the 
discharge, you will apply a large blister to the small of 
the back, at the same time using the injections freely as 
directed. Should the constitution be much injured, and 
the woman greatly reduced by the discharge, obtain 
from any doctor's shop a tincture of sal martis, which 
is a preparation of iron dissolved in muriatic acid. 
Obtain also a box of soda powders. On these boxes 
you will find directions how to use them ; if not, look 
under the head soda powders. When you have mixed 
your papers of soda powders with water, in two tum- 
blers, and before you have poured them together, drop 
into the tumbler in which you have put the contents of 
the blue paper, eight or ten drops of the medicine in 
the phial. Being now ready, pour it all into one tum- 
bler and drink it down immediately, and while it is 
foaming or effervescing. This drink should be taken 
three times a day. I have merely to remark, that this 

is a preparation of one of the most valuable mineral 

52 



410 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

waters known in Europe,, and is admirably adapted to 
debility of the stomach, or indigestion, affections of the 
womb, and indeed, debility of any kind. After all these 
remedies have failed, polypus of the womb may exist, 
which always requires the assistance of an able physi- 
cian. 



PREGNANCY. 

When the sexual connexion between a male and 
female, has been favorable to the increase of our spe- 
cies, the seed of the man and that of the woman are 
conveyed, as already described, through the Fallopian 
tubes into the womb, and there deposited. Here the 
growth of the foetus or child commences, whilst at the 
same time there is formed, a bag or covering for the 
whole, (called the membranes,) which lines the womb. 
At the same time, there is a fleshy substance formed, 
which very much resembles the liver; this substance is 
called the after-birth, and by physicians the placenta. 
This fleshy substance, called the after-birth, receives 
and prepares the blood, which is supplied by the womb 
for the child. From this after-birth to the navel of the 
child, there is a small cord or tube called the navel 
cord, or umbilical cord. This tube admits the circula- 
tion of the blood between the mother and the child. 
There is also a fluid, known by the name of the waters, 
in which the foetus or child moves and increases in 
growth. 

You will now readily perceive, that the womb con- 
tains, when pregnant, the child, the waters in which it 
moves, the membranes which support it, the navel-cord, 
and the after-birth. From eight to ten days after the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 411 

woman has conceived, the first formations of the child 
may be distinguished ; it is, however, so extremely deli- 
cate as to require the most minute attention to discover 
it with the naked eye. The face and form of the large 
features, are as yet not sufficiently plain to be distin- 
guished ; you can merely discover the formation of the 
head and trunk ; the trunk being the longest and most 
delicate; the whole resembling a bit of jelly of an 
oblong figure. You will perceive by close examination 
the resemblance of a small feather, which comes from 
the navel, and ends in the membrane by which the 
whole is enclosed. This fine feathery fibre, afterwards 
the navel cord, connects the young with the after-birth. 

In about three weeks after conception, the formation 
of the infant may be plainly distinguished, because by 
this time the head and features of the face begin to 
assume something of a strong outline ; in other words, 
they begin to show the realities of what they are. The 
arms and legs are next seen to project from the body ; 
two black specks represent the eyes — and two extremely 
small holes make the places of the ears. The ribs on 
each side are about the size of common threads; and 
the fingers and toes about the same magnitude. The 
arms are something longer than the legs in consequence 
of their growth being more rapid. 

In about one month after conception, the foetus or 
child is about one inch in length; and it now takes a 
bending posture in the middle of the water or liquor I 
have described to you. About this time the membranes, 
sometimes called the bag or covering, become enlarged, 
and get thicker and stronger, and the whole mass 
together, is about an inch in length, and nearly the shape 
of an egg. 



412 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

In about six weeks the motion of the heart of the 
child may be perceived. In fact, in surgical operations 
which I have seen performed, where the child was taken 
from the womb, the heart was seen to beat for a consid- 
erable length of time. 

In three months, the child is three inches in length, 
and its weight from two to three ounces. Women assert 
that they have felt the motion of the child about this 
rime, but I would suppose it doubtful at this early period. 
In about fourteen weeks, the head of the child is bent 
forward, and the chin rests on the breast; the knees are 
lifted up ; the legs bent back on the thighs ; and both the 
hands lifted up towards the face. 

In the lapse of time, the child acquires more strength? 
and is constantly changing its posture; but the head 
most commonly inclines downward. Near the fifth 
month, the mother can distinctly feel the motion of the 
child, which is called quickening, and which is often 
accompanied with sickness at the stomach, and vomiting, 
particularly in the morning. When this quickening is 
felt, it is a very certain symptom of pregnancy. About 
the time of this quickening, the womb seems as if it 
were loose in the lower part of the belly. As long as 
the womb is detained in the pelvis or basin, you can, 
by introducing the finger up the birth-place, the woman 
being in a standing position, distinctly feel the mouth of 
the womb, which is lower down than in the natural and 
unimpregnated state. This is occasioned by the weight 
of the womb and its contents, continually and gradually 
bearing downward. Thus the mouth of the womb 
can be felt, after the woman has become with child, 
for several weeks, and affords another evidence of prep- 
nancy. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 413 

After this time the womb begins considerably to in- 
crease in size, and ascend gradually up into the abdo- 
men or belly, growing at last so large that it remains 
mostly above the bones of the pelvis or basin, and par- 
tially rests on them. 

In the beginning of the fifth month, the belly be- 
comes hard, and the navel of the mother is perfectly 
even and smooth. From this onward the woman in- 
creases in size ; pregnancy being now evident, a further 
description of its progress would be unnecessary. In 
nine months, or in about forty-two weeks from the 
stoppage of the menses or courses, the child is prepar- 
ed for its entrance into life ; and nature prepares her- 
self for a delivery of her burthen, by a contraction of 
the fibres of the womb, which arc no longer able to 
bear the irritation. Here commence the pains of 
labor, in other words, restless and uneasy sensations, 
pain in the small of the back, frequent desire to make 
water, accompanied with bearing downwards, particu- 
larly at the bottom of the belly; constant desire to go 
to stool, perhaps without being able to pass any thing; 
costiveness, with a small discharge of mucus or slime 
from the birth place, &c. &,c. 

I have mentioned to you, the waters in which the 
child moves, and changes its position. As to the quan- 
tity of these waters at the birth of the child, it varies 
very much in different women. In some I have seen 
not more than a gill, in others not more than half a 
pint, and in others I have known nearly two quarts. 
Those who have written on this subject before me, 
state that these waters resemble the white of an egg. 
and have very little sincll. This is, however, not al- 
ways the case, the waters are sometimes very offensive. 



414 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

The fact is, that their color and consistency depend on 
the peculiar state of the system. 

The after-birth prepares the blood in a proper state, 
which is then conveyed by the navel cord to the child 
for its support and growth ; you will therefore under- 
stand, that the growth is produced by and through the 
after-birth. This after-birth or fleshy substance, which 
resembles the liver, is generally in weight from a pound 
to a pound and a half; and depends both for weight 
and size, not on the appearance of the woman, but on 
the healthy or diseased state of the womb and its secre- 
tions; for I have very often seen in my practice, very 
large women produce quite small after-births, whilst on 
the contrary, I have seen very delicate women produce 
astonishingly large ones. 

The navel cord, called by physicians the umbilical 
cord, is formed of two veins which come from the 
after-birth, and an artery which comes from the child ; 
these being twisted nicely together, is the reason why 
it is called the navel cord. The blood which passes 
through the veins of this cord enters at the navel of 
the child, and by the proper vessels is conveyed to its 
heart; it is then conveyed again back from the heart, 
to the various parts of the child's body, for its growth 
and support, as I told you before. After returning 
again, the heart forces it back through the artery, 
which I have mentioned as a part of the cord to the 
after-birth, which prepares it for the fetus or child. 

I have now given you a plain explanation of preg- 
nancy, and of the means by which the child is sustain- 
ed in the womb, and of the parts connected with the 
womb, necessary to be known and understood. This 
explanation will enable you, with a litttle attention, to 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 415 

understand something of the astonishing powers pos- 
sessed and employed by nature, for the procreation, 
increase and preservation of the human species. 



SIGNS OF PREGNANCY. 

Sickness in the morning, often attended with vomi- 
ting or puking; heart burn, and soreness on the stom- 
ach ; loss of appetite, and dislike of the sight of food ; 
craving for things which before you were indifferent to, 
or even disliked ; and stoppage of the menses or cour- 
ses; this last symptom, however, is sometimes occa- 
sioned from cold, &c. Pregnancy is also known, by 
palpitations or flutterings of the heart; faintness, ac- 
companied with a desire to vomit; these last symptoms 
are generally felt by young married women in their 
first pregnancy. The breasts become more full, the 
nipples more firm and hard, and the rings around them 
assume a darker color. The rising of the navel, so as 
to become flat and smooth with the belly, may be con- 
sidered an almost certain evidence of pregnancy. I 
omitted to mention that tooth ache frequently is an 
indication of pregnancy. 

The pulse of a woman with child, is considerably 
quicker than common ; there is also frequently a dizzi- 
ness or swimming in the head ; the complexion of the 
face generally changes, cither by becoming much im- 
proved, or by exhibiting a more sallow, pale and sickly 
color. There are few women, who do not undergo 
some peculiar change of countenance in pregnancy so 
as to indicate to those well acquainted with them, their 
real situation. There is, however, no certain sign of 
pregnancy, but the motions of the child felt by the 



416 GUNJS'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE 

mother; and all the symptoms I have mentioned, al- 
though sufficient to induce the belief of pregnancy, 
may be deceptive. For instance, the menses or courses 
may stop, and it may be produced by cold, or some 
cause other than pregnancy; therefore, until about the 
third or fourth month, doubts may exist as to the actual 
situation of the woman. 

I have mentioned, that after conception, and before 
the womb began to rise above the pelvis or basin, by 
introducing the finger up the birth place, the mouth of 
the womb might be plainly felt. This is the fact, and 
the reasons are obvious. The increasing weight of the 
womb, at this period, lowers its mouth in the vagina or 
birth-place, so that it can be easily touched with the 
finger; and an experienced physician or midwife, by 
such an examination, could easily tell whether the wo- 
man was with child or not. The indications, however, 
are more plainly felt in a young married woman, than 
in one who has borne children. In making this exam- 
ination, the woman should always be in a standing 
posture, leaning on the shoulder of the operator, so as 
to relax the parts as much as possible. In women 
who have borne children, or suffered in injuries from 
child birth, the mouth of the womb is very apt to pro- 
trude downward through the birth-place, and is called 
falling down of the womb. This is caused by the 
ignorance and stupidity of common midwives, from 
pulling the after birth away, and producing this descent 
of the mouth of the womb. You will be made fully 
acquainted with this falling of the womb, in the pro- 
per place. 



FINN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 417 

CAUTIONS DURING PREGNANCY. 

When the woman discovers her change of situation, 
or in other words, that she is with child, she is to attend 
to her bowels particularly, so that they may not become 
costive or bound up. She must steadily bear in mind, 
that more than half the diseases which arise during 
pregnancy, are more or less occasioned by neglect to 
keep the bowels regular. If you cannot have a stool 
daily, take a clyster of simple milk and water; there is 
no indelicacy in this matter. There are instruments 
called self-pipes, which you can use yourself, and there 
ought to be one of these in every family. — For a de- 
scription how to prepare and administer clysters, read 
under that head. I have known many women, who, 
by neglecting their bowels during pregnancy, were 
compelled to submit to having the hard excrement 
removed from the fundament, before a passage could 
be obtained. This is certainly more indelicate than 
using a clyster pipe, and merely throwing up a clyster 
of milk and water, and I do assert, that if these clyster 
pipes were more used in the United States, both by 
women and men, there would be many constitutions 
saved, and very many diseases and sufferings avoided. 
Is it not reasonable to presume, that more danger is 
done to the stomach, by eternally keeping it loaded 
with drastic purgative medicines, than would be done 
to the system by the simple use of the clyster pipe? 

Women, during pregnancy, may be said to labor 
under constant irritation, however delicate their con- 
stitutions; and therefore, clysters not only afford an 
easy and pleasant passage or stool, but cool the bowels, 
and allay the irritation of the whole system. The 
tepid bath, see page 156, ought to be used during preg- 
nancy It will entirely soothe, not only the bodily 

53 



418 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

irritation, but also tranquilize the mind and feelings. 
You will recollect, that the water of this bath is to be 
but pleasantly warm, because hot water has been known 
to produce abortion, which means losing the child. 
The bath I recommend, will have an effect to preserve 
and equalize the healthy action of the womb, and all 
the parts connected with it. Particular attention should 
be paid to the diet or food ; let it be simple and plain, 
and of such a quality as agrees with you. If you will 
but attend to these instructions, I may assure you that 
you will pass through this period, not only with safety, 
but with great comfort, and produce, in due time, not 
only a healthy, but a vigorous offspring. 

By all means, banish gloomy and depressing fears ; 
nor listen for a moment to the idle tales of misfortunes 
which are said to have happened to others; all these 
tales are without a shadow of truth. Think of the 
countless and innumerable millions, who have passed 
through these feelings and trials, without the slightest 
accident. Therefore, place full and implicit confidence 
in the benevolence, wisdom and mercy, of that god 
the Great Father of the Universe, who rules and gov- 
erns all numan destinies! Be cheerful, collected and 
serene, for in multiplying and replenishing the earth, 
you are fulfilling an imperious command of an Almigh- 
ty power, in which he will never desert you. 



DISEASES OF PREGNANCY. 

The many diseases to which women are generally 
liable during pregnancy, mostly arise from the causes I 
have already enumerated, such as costiveness, impro- 
per diet, and so on. The womb at this period is 



419 

GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

extremely irritable, and always sympathises with the 
other parts of the system, and particularly with the 
stomach and head. Some women suffer a great deal 
during pregnancy, and others very slightly. The tact 
is, that the mind, the passions, and even the feelings of 
women, sometimes participate strongly with the physi- 
cal system during pregnancy; not only leaving power- 
ful impressions on the fetus or child itself, but exercis 
ing a strong influence on the very conduct of the 
woman herself! I hardly need instance such matters 
as longing for particular articles of food, or the vast 
and countless variety of whims, caprices, sympathies, 
antipathies, and so on, which beset some pregnant 
women ; nor need I point out to the reader, the abor- 
tive proportions of birth, and the varieties of injury 
sometimes sustained by the child, through the mind, 
imagination and feelings of the mother. Pregnancy 
also, and not unfrequently, exercises a moral influence. 
I recollect a lady in New York, of the very first re- 
spectability, whose husband was long an associate of 
the legislative councils of the nation, who never visited, 
or left her house, after she had felt the quickening sen- 
sation of pregnancy, in other words, the motion of the 
child, without experiencing an irresistible propensity to 
steal; nor could she ever combat successfully, or 
restrain the unaccountable desire to pilfer. This, how- 
ever, is only one case among a million which might be 
adduced, te prove the existence of influences in preg- 
nancy, which baffle the whole powers of genius and 
human reasoning. 

Doctor Rush, or some other physician of equal 
celebrity, relates the case of a medical man in some 
part of Europe, in whose natural disposition, the pro- 
pensity to steal was so strong, that he never was known 



m 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



to visit a sick chamber, without stealing some articles oi 
value, if they were not put out of his reach. His prac- 
tice was very extensive, he was wealthy, and hit- 
propensity to theft so well known to society, that after a 
few years had passed, in stealing the same articles over 
and over again, nothing was said about the matter. 
The fact is, that he had stolen the same articles so often, 
that it became the business of his wife, on his return 
home every night, to search his pockets, assort out, and 
send home the articles he had so often stolen. If this 
delineation of native character be correct, which we 
are not even permitted to doubt, why need we be surpri- 
sed at the few instances of a natural propensity to petty 
roguery and hook-fingered avarice, which our own 
country presents? Or why need we be in the least sur- 
prised, to find men whose native and irresistible propen- 
sities to swindling, petty fraud, and diminutive rascality 
will lead them to cheat in weights and measures on all 
practicable occasions. 

This subject, however, presents itself in another, and 
a much stronger point of view. It bears strongly on 
the criminal laws and jurisprudence of our country, 
and must at some future period, arrest the attention of 
our legislative bodies. If there is such an influence in 
nature, as leads to the commission of crime, and that 
too in defiance of moral restraints, and fears of punish- 
ment, are there not cases in which moral justice would 
revolt at the punishment of involuntary and irresistible 
criminality? I have not space in this work to give this 
subject such an investigation as it really and intrinsic- 
ally merits; but should it be in my power, as I now 
intend to publish a future volume of this work, when 
time and circumstances will permit, this subject will be 
one which shall be particularly embraced. To speak 



( INN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 421 

plainly, I have long entertained doubts, whether, under 
circumstances in which it is practicable to banish a man 
from society, deprive him of his liberty, and prevent 
his committing future crimes, it can ever appertain 
to justice and the security of society, to shed human 
blood. 

It is very true, that the scripture thus denounces the 
murderer — "whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall 
his blood be shed ; " but, ought we not to take into seri- 
ous consideration, the simple fact, that at the period 
this penalty of murder was announced to the Jews, soli- 
tary confinement for life was unknown to the policy of 
human laws. 

That a diseased state of the mind may exist, on one 
particular point, and that the same mind may be sound 
and sane in all other respects, no medical man in his 
senses will deny. The daughter of a wealthy merchant 
of Philadelphia, was in the habit of stealing from the 
different stores in which she purchased goods. Being 
extremely wealthy, and her propensity known, private 
accounts of the articles stolen, were always kept, and 
always duly paid by her father. She married, and was 
never known during her pregnancy to steal the smallest 
article; and candidly confessed that during these peri- 
ods, she had not the smallest propensity to steal or 
pilfer; and what was equally extraordinary, so soon as 
her deliveries were over, the old and natural propensity 
to theft returned. How are we to account, on any thing 
like known principles, for the above facts and delinea- 
tions of character? Medical philosophers, I propound 
the interrogatory to you ! The value of the articles, this 
woman often repeated, had nothing to do with the nat- 
ural impulse to theft. Was it a disease of the mind, 
derived through the physical system, from impressions 



422 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

made on the foetus or child in the womb, from the 
mind, and passions, and feelings of the mother? 



SICKNESS OF THE STOMACH. 

This is common in the commencement of pregnancy, 
particularly with the first child: it generally lasts until 
the quickening sensation is felt, and no longer. If the 
vomiting or puking is not severe, it will do no injury; 
but if it should continue, or become severe, which is 
sometimes the case, you will find relief in the following 
remedies. 

REMEDIES. 

If the habit of body be full, that is, strong and fleshy, 
the loss of some blood from the arm will be proper. 
But, if the woman should be weakly and delicate, omit 
the bleeding, and use the following remedies: of colum- 
bo root and camomile flowers make a strong decoction 
or tea, to which you may add a little ginger: let this 
tea get perfectly cold, and give three. or four table-spoons- 
ful occasionally. Or you may obtain the columbo root 
in powder, and give fifteen or twenty grains, mixed with 
a few drops of peppermint, and a little good old spirits 
of any kind ; or take an ounce of columbo root, and 
bruise it with a hammer, then pour a pint of boiling 
water on it, and let it get cold. Take a wine-glassful 
of this decoction, with a few drops of peppermint in it, 
three or four times a day, or when you feel this sickness 
of the stomach. This bitter is very serviceable in weak 
stomachs and laxative bowels. Where the vomiting or 
puking is very severe, apply the stewed leaves of the 
garden mint to the pit of the stomach: the application 
must be warm, and it will stop the vomiting or puking 



GUNiVS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 423 

without fail. Or purchase a box of soda powders, on 
which you will find directions; or if there are no direc- 
tions, see the head soda powders. Give these powders 
three or four times a day. Ginger tea, and mint tea, 
are also good remedies. Or use elixir vitriol, in doses 
of ten or fifteen drops, three or four times a day, in a 
glass of cool water. Should the vomiting be extremely 
severe, rub a little laudanum over the pit of the stom- 
ach : if this does not stop it, give ten or fifteen drops of 
laudanum, occasionally, in a little mint or ginger tea. 
In very stubborn cases of vomiting, the following will 
always give relief: — mix in a phial, equal quantities of 
compound spirit of lavender, laudanum, and spirits of 
hartshorn: of this mixture, give a tea-spoonful in a little 
cold water, three or four times a day, or as the sickness 
and vomiting may take place. 



COLIC. 

This is a common complaint during pregnancy; and 
this is the reason why I have cautioned you so particu- 
larly respecting your diet or food, and by all means to 
avoid costiveness, or in other words, permitting yourself 
to be too long a time without having a stool. The bow- 
els, during the time you are with child, will always be 
much subject to flatulence or wind, which is called in 
the country windy colic. 

REMEDIES. 

Bathe the belly with warm water, or sit in a tub in 
which there is warm water, and take a table-spoonful 
of castor oil. Or you may apply to your belly warm 
salt: or you may apply cloths wrung out of warm water 



L'24 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

to the belly, and throw up the fundament, with the civs 
ter pipe, the following injection: make a pint or quart 
of thin gruel ; strain it clean, and put into it a table- 
spoonful of hog's lard or less ; let it stand until it becomes 
milk warm, and take it as a clyster: — see the head clys- 
tering. 



PAIN IN THE HEAD, AND DROWSINESS. 

When there is pain in the head, or a heavy dull 
drowsiness is felt, it is apt to arise from the blood vessels 
being too full. This is generally the case with fleshy* 
strong, healthy young women. In delicate and weakly 
women, pain in the head and drowsiness are sometimes 
felt, but they generally arise from an opposite cause, 
from a want of due circulatiou of the blood, which indu- 
ces debility or weakness. 

REMEDIES. 

If the woman is fleshy and strong, and is thus afflicted, 
draw blood from the arm, and give a dose of laxative 
medicine, such as epsom salts, castor oil, &,c. But if, 
on the contrary, she be delicate and weakly, bleeding in 
any way would be highly improper. She is to take 
moderate exercise on horseback, attend to the state of 
her stomach, and also to her food : use freely the tepid 
bath — see page 156: take very gentle medicines, or a 
clyster to keep her bowels regular if bound ; bathe her 
forehead and temples frequently with spirits, in which 
camphor has been dissolved; and take occasionally 
through the day, a glass of real good wine, or some 
toddy made with any kind of spirits. If this pain or 
heaviness of the head still remains, after the above 



OUNJN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 125 

means have been resorted to, it may arise from the 
stomach — if so, the columbo root, as already described, 
will be found of great benefit. 



HEART-BURN. 
This complaint generally arises from acid on the 
stomach, and very few women escape it during preg- 
nancy. If the heart-burn is attended with a constant 
hawking up of tough phlegm, the stomach should be 
cleansed with a gentle emetic or puke, of fifteen or 
twenty grains of ipecacuanha. But, if the heart-burn 
is accompanied with a sour taste in the mouth, or a 
belching up of sour water, it will be relieved by the use 
of very weak lime water, or a tea-spoonful of magnesia 
in a cup of cold water. This last, or either of them, 
may be taken whenever these acid tastes take place. 
The magnesia is generally preferred in lumps, and may 
be eaten in moderate quantities, being perfectly inno- 
cent. When a considerable lump is used, it will act as 
a mild purgative. By adding a little rhubarb to the 
magnesia, it is an excellent purgative for women in a 
pregnant state. As both articles are quite innocent, 
they may always be used, when found necessary for 
opening the bowels. 



SWELLED LEGS 

This swelling is produced by the womb, which is 
enlarged during pregnancy ; the weight of the womb 
presses on the vessels which return the fluids from the 
lower parts of the body. When the woman is far 

54 



426 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

advanced, these swellings frequently give much pain ; 
there is, however, no danger; nor should they give any 
distress to the afflicted woman. These swellings are 
very apt to go off if she will take rest on a bed, bathe 
her feet at night in strong salt and water, and steam 
herself over mullen, on which boiling water has been 
poured. As rest, in a recumbent or lying posture, les- 
sens very much the swellings, it would be advisable for 
the woman to remain as quiet as possible, and lose 
a little blood from the arm occasionally. Attention to 
these things, with a little cooling medicine, such as 
epsom salts, or a little cream of tartar, will nearly 
always allay these swellings of the legs. 



CRAMP. 

Cramp generally comes on about the fourth month 
after pregnancy, and is often very troublesome at night, 
while the woman is in bed. Its attacks are generally 
in the legs and thighs, but sometimes in the bottom of 
the belly and hips. Those women who have never 
before been subject to cramp, are very apt to have 
attacks of it, during the last stages of pregnancy. 

REMEDIES. 
When the cramp is frequent and severe, the loss of 
a little blood would be proper. Cramp sometimes ari- 
ses from costiveness or constipation of the bowels; 
when this is the case, you may give a clyster, or a cool- 
ing purge, such as epsom salts. Standing a few minutes 
on a cold hearth with the feet bare, is a simple remedy, 
and will always give relief I have known a small 
garter or belt, in which was confined some pounded 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 427 

brimstone or flour of sulphur, relieve several ladies who 
were much subject to cramp. 



CONSTANT DESIRE TO MAKE WATER. 

The constant desire to make water, or pass off the 
urine, is occasioned by the weight of the womb con- 
stantly pressing on the neck of the bladder. Whenever 
this desire becomes troublesome, rest as quietly on your 
bed as possible, taking at the same time a cooling 
purge. If convenient, and whether so or not, the use 
of the warm or tepid bath will be very beneficial; by 
which I mean that the whole body is to be placed in 
water about milk warm ; if this be impracticable, for 
want of a vessel large enough, you may sit once a day 
in a tub of water of this warmth. The fact is, that by 
bathing occasionally in water milk-warm, during any 
stage of pregnancy, considerable benefit will always be 
derived. 



STOPPAGE OF URINE. 
This is"called suppression of urine by physicians, and 
means when the urine is stopped from flowing from the 
bladder, at those periods when nature requires the evac- 
uation. When this stoppage takes place, the bladder 
becomes distended or swelled with the water, and is also 
severely painful. Relief must now immediately be 
had, by applying to the belly cloths wrung out of warm 
water, and taking a clyster of warm milk and water — 
see the head clystering. Clystering is extremely bene- 
ficial, in this, and all similar rases, and women should 



428 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

early be taught to know, not only that there is no indel- 
icacy in the operation, but that in all warm climates it 
is absolutely essential to most women in a state of preg- 
nancy. All the lying-in hospitals of Europe, are amply 
furnished with the apparatus for clystering ; but in the 
western country of America, where there is certainly 
as much general intelligence as in any part of the world, 
it seems that you might as well desire a lady to swallow 
an elephant, as to take a clyster instead of a purgative 
medicine. This is all false modesty ; the women of all 
countries ought to know, that the more simply their 
diseases are treated, and the more according to nature, 
the better will their health and safety be ensured. 
After the remedies just mentioned have been used with- 
out affording relief, you are to send for a physician, who 
will draw off the water with a catheter: — for a descrip- 
tion of which, and the mode of using it, look under the 
head catheter. 



WANT OF SLEEP. 

On or about the last stage of pregnancy, most wo- 
men become restless and uneasy, and their sleep very 
much disturbed. They are also troubled with a chok- 
ing sensation, and a difficulty of getting their breath. 
This last affliction is sometimes so great, that they are 
sometimes obliged to get out of bed, and to throw up 
a window for fresh air, which generally relieves them. 

If the woman who is subject to these unpleasant 
feelings, be of a robust and full habit of body, the loss 
of a little blood from the arm will be proper; in addi- 
tion to which some mildly laxative medicines ought to 
be taken, to open the bowels. If the woman is of a 



FINN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 429 

delicate constitution, and much debilitated or weaken- 
ed, bathe her feet and legs in strong salt and water, 
made pleasantly warm before she retires to bed ; and 
give her fifteen or twenty drops of laudanum, or if 
laudanum cannot be had, give her a glass of toddy, 
made with any kind of spirits. 



PILES. 

Tins is an uneasy and troublesome complaint, which 
frequently attends on pregnancy, and generally afflicts 
fat, stout women. The fact is, however, that most 
women are subject to piles, after the fifth or sixth month. 
In addition to the remedies I shall mention here, refer 
to page 323, where you will find a full description given 
of piles. 

Women who have never before been troubled with 
this disorder, are apt to be afflicted with it, as I have 
just mentioned, during the last months of pregnancy. 
It is almost invariably produced from costiveness or 
constipation of the bowels. The common oak-ball, 
pounded fine, and stewed down in butter without salt, 
is an excellent remedy. The parts are occasionally to 
be rubbed with this ointment ; whilst at the same time 
you are to take a gentle purge. You may, also, occa- 
sionally bathe the parts in cold water ; or you may put 
a tea-spoonful of sugar of lead, into a pint of cold 
spring water, and frequently bathe the parts with it 
during the day. As much rest as possible is to be 
taken; in other words, walk or ride about as little as 
possible. 



430 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

FALSE PAINS. 

These pains resemble the pains of labor very much r 
and are frequently the cause of alarm, and much in- 
convenience to all concerned. False pains are always 
produced, from some deranged state of the system ; or 
from the improper conduct of the woman herself, by 
excessive, and sometimes slight fatigue. Anxiety of 
mind ; sudden exposure to cold or heat ; want of atten- 
tion to the bowels; indigestion, or eating such articles 
of food as produce wind in the bowels, will frequently 
produce these pains. Dysentery, accompanied with 
severe griping, will also produce these pains. 

When these pains occur frequently, it will be proper 
to employ an experienced physician, because their too 
frequent presence may produce miscarriage, or in other 
language, the loss of the child. On discovering the 
pains to be false, which must be ascertained by the 
physician or midwife, either of whom should be well 
acquainted with the mode of conducting an examina- 
tion, they are to be removed as speedily and easily as 
possible. If there is much pressure on the mouth of 
the womb from above, and if it is perceived to dilate 
or open during the continuance of the pains, they are 
not false, and the woman may be considered in labor; 
but, if neither pressure nor dilation or opening can be 
felt, the pains are false, and are to be removed. 

When these false pains are caused by fatigue, the 
patient should be kept as quiet as possible, and take 
the necessary rest to remove the fatigue. If she be of 
a feverish disposition, she must lose a little blood ; and 
generally, it will be proper to give a gentle dose of 
laxative medicine, or some mild and opening clysters. 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. '131 

FLOODING. 

Flooding is a disease incidental to pregnancy, often 
of a dangerous and fatal character, in which there is a 
loss of blood from the womb. It is, fortunately, of not 
very frequent occurrence; but when it does come on, 
you are to lose no time in obtaining a skilful and expe- 
rienced physician. It is a case, in which merely 
common skill and experience will seldom answer, be- 
cause it is frequently attended with abortion, and often 
with the loss of life. Flooding is usually produced by 
a sudden fall, by over exertion, by fright and alarm, 
and not unfrequently by the gloomy and depressing 
passions of the mind. It is also produced by weakness 
of the womb, originating miscarriage, or other injuries 
derived from severe labor in child-birth. Jt also some- 
times arises, from the after-birth separating from the 
womb, and the large blood vessels entering into it, dis- 
charging their contents through the mouth of the womb. 
This complaint is very alarming to persons well ac- 
quainted with its real dangers, because death frequently 
comes on suddenly, and with very little warning of its 
approach. 

No discharges of blood ever take place from the 
womb, in a natural and sound state of pregnancy; the 
idea of regular discharges in pregnancy, is entirely 
erroneous and perfectly farcical ; and whenever they 
do take place, they always prove to the man of skill 
and judgment, that there is something wrong. They 
always either proceed from the passage to the womb, 
or from the womb itself. When they merely come 
from the passage to the womb, they are seldom, if ever, 
attended with danger; but when they proceed from the 
womb itself, there is considerable danger that disa- 
greeable consequences may be the result. When but 



432 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE 

a little blood comes away, from much walking or 
riding, or from standing in an upright posture, and 
there is only a trifling pain in the lower part of the 
belly, attended with no symptoms of fever, and no in- 
creased or inflammatory action of the blood vessels, 
the blood may always be presumed to come from the 
passage to the womb. This can always be removed, 
and that very easily, by lying a short time in a recum- 
bent or horizontal position; and afterwards avoiding 
much walking and riding, and long continued stand- 
ing in an upright posture. But, mind me particularly, 
when the discharge of blood is preceded, or accom- 
panied with flushings of the face, considerable heat in 
the palms of the hands, and great thirst ; or when there 
are great pains in the lower part of the abdomen or 
belly, in the loins, or in the back, it is evident that the 
discharge of blood is from the womb itself, and also 
that there is much danger. 

REMEDIES. 
The first step to be taken, when the flooding pro- 
ceeds from the womb itself, and may therefore be con- 
sidered dangerous, is to place the woman in bed, and 
to keep her as cool as possible, by removing the bed 
clothes, and admitting the cool and lresh air; and, as 
you value the life of your patient, give her nothing to 
eat or drink of an inflammatory or heating nature; in 
other words, nothing that will increase the action of 
the blood vessels. I have told you before, that in this 
case, which is a dangerous one, a skilful physician must 
be obtained if possible. The woman should be imme- 
diately bled from the arm, freely, copiously, and rapidly, 
so as to produce fainting, because this is the moment, if 
ever, when those clots of blood are formed and con- 
gealed, which put a stop to the great discharge from 



CIVVS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 433 

the blood vessels. Apply at the same time to the belly, 
cloths wet with the coldest water, or even ice wrapped 
in very thin cloths, if it can possibly be procured. If 
the blood should still continue to flow, in any considera- 
ble quantity, a soft piece of cloth ought to be introduced 
up the birth-place, also wet with cold water. These 
cold applications, however, ought not to be continued 
so long as to produce a chill ; but, while they are con- 
tinued, they ought to be occasionally and often renew- 
ed. A clyster of cold water, occasionally thrown up 
the fundament, will also be very effective in stopping 
this flooding. 

If the above remedies should fail, which is some- 
times the case, you are to give the patient two grains 
of sugar of lead every hour, for five, six, or seven 
hours. This is a powerful remedy, and most generally 
an effective one. You may, also, put twenty or twenty- 
five grains of sugar of lead in a quart of water, and 
when it is dissolved, you may throw about one fourth 
of it up the bowels, and with the residue, occasionally 
wash the birth-place; these measures will greatly as- 
sist the cure, and if necessary, they may be repeated 
two or three times. The last remedies mentioned, are 
generally attended with relief; but there is always con- 
siderable danger of the return of the flooding; there- 
fore, it is very immaterial how well the patient may 
feel after relief, she must continue in bed three or four 
weeks, and be kept cool and quiet, and always ready 
for the application of cold wet cloths to the belly, and 
also up the birth-place; her situation will still be dan- 
gerous for that length of time, and without this cautious 
and circumspect conduct, she may still be lost without 
three hours warning of her fate. If. however, all 
those remedies should fad (o stop the flooding, and to 



434 . GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

prevent its reaching the stage in which the woman 
must inevitably perish, an abortion must be resorted to, 
as the only possible means of saving her life. 



ABORTION, 

AND THE MEANS TO BE OBSERVED IN PREVENTING 
OR PROCURING IT. 

I intend by abortion, the expulsion of the foetus or 
child, at such an early period of pregnancy, that the 
child is either dead when it is brought forth, or dies 
soon afterwards. Whilst speaking of flooding, many 
of the symptoms and circumstances attending miscar- 
riage or abortion are named; but, there are several 
others which precede and cause abortion, which must 
be particularly mentioned. They are the following, 
and are always to be guarded against or removed by 
pregnant women, if they wish to preserve their bur- 
thens, until the expiration of the period fixed by nature: 
Severe and oppressive exercise; violent and sudden 
exertions of strength; sudden and agitating frights; 
fits of excessive and violent passion; excess of venery, 
by which I mean too frequent sexual communication 
with the male ; a morbid or diseased state of the womb ; 
external injuries of all descriptions which affect the 
generative organs; and general and excessive debility 
or weakness of the whole system. I say nothing of 
those means of procuring abortions which are some- 
times used by pregnant women, with the intention of 
relieving themselves of their charge — these are matters 
to be referred to the lofty and unerring tribunal of 
God himself; they are accounts between such women 
and their Maker. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 435 

Generally speaking, before abortion comes on, there 
will be felt some slight pains about the lower part of 
the belly, and also in and about the loins ; there will 
be a looseness and flabbiness about the breasts, and 
some general sensations of shuddering and coldness; 
and in women of full, strong and muscular habits of 
body, there will nearly always be some considerable 
degree of fever. Next to these symptoms, slight dis- 
charges of blood will take place from the womb ; and 
these discharges will continue to increase, perhaps 
occasionally stopping a short time, until they amount 
to absolute flooding, which I have already particularly 
described. When these discharges return, after they 
have become copious and debilitating, they are always 
attended with a sense of dead weight, and a heavy 
bearing down about the womb, great sickness of the 
stomach, and sometimes frequent faintings. These are 
self-evident indications, of immediate miscarriage or 
abortion, which soon takes place, and is always follow- 
ed by profuse bleeding, which, however, soon subsides. 
After the expulsion of the contents of the womb, and 
the bleeding has gone off, there is a serous or watery 
discharge mixed with a little blood ; but this is a mat- 
ter of no consequence. 

This is an abortion, according to the dictates and 
operations of nature herself. It may sometimes, how- 
ever, be avoided, by observing the following simple 
treatment: — on the occurrence of the first symptoms of 
abortion, the woman must be placed in bed, and kept 
cool and quiet until the matter be decided. If she is 
of a full and strong habit of body, she must be bled. 
Every thing of a heating, irritating and stimulating na- 
ture, either as food or drink, must be entirely avoided, 
Nothing but cold water or very weak tea is to be 



436 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

drunk by the patient. The bowels may be opened, if 
costive, and kept open, by merely injecting up them 
some milk warm water. The irritation of the womb 
is to be lessened immediately, and as much as possible; 
to effect the lessening or reduction of this irritation, the 
woman ought to be placed in a tub of warm water, and 
when taken out, to have large quantities of sweet oil 
rubbed about her back, loins, belly and breasts. If 
these means fail in preventing the abortion, nature will 
effectuate the expulsion of the child, in the manner I 
have just described. She may, however, be assisted in 
her exertions by the following means: — The woman is 
to be kept quiet, and treated as in common labor ; after 
which, cloths wet with cold water must be applied to 
the belly, to aid in the contraction of the womb, after 
the expulsion of its contents. 

When abortion is to be brought on, in order to stop 
profuse and dangerous flooding, it is to done in the 
following simple and easy manner. I will here adopt 
the language of Doctor Bard, with some observations. 
"The woman is to be brought down to the edge of the 
bed, cither lying on her side, with a pillow or two be- 
tween her thighs, which are to be drawn up — or lying 
on her back, with her hips a little raised, and her feet 
on the lap of an assistant on each side. The operator 
must sit on a low seat immediately before her, whilst a 
double sheet thrown over her body and that of the 
physician or midwife, must protect her from cold, and 
form a decent covering. The hand of the operator, 
well rubbed with good oil or hog's lard, with the fin- 
gers collected into a point, must then be slowly intro- 
duced through the birth-place to the mouth of the 
womb, which will sometimes make considerable resis- 
tance against attempts to open it. This resistance 



PUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 437 

must be overcome, by cautious, gentle and patient efforts. 
When the mouth of the womb begins to dilate or widen 
with the efforts of the operator, one of the fingers must 
be introduced into it, then another, and so on, until by 
patient and gentle attempts it admits the hand. The 
efforts to dilate and widen the mouth of the womb — and 
you must remember this particularly — are always to be 
suspended or stopped, whenever the pains come on, and 
whilst they are on. In other words, whenever the pains 
cease, you are to proceed in your efforts to widen gently 
the mouth of the womb. When the hand passes into 
the womb, it is to be opened and laid flat; this will pre- 
vent a contraction on the knuckles, which might rupture 
the neck of the womb, and do much injury. The 
mouth of the womb being sufficiently widened, if the 
hand can then be easily passed over the part of the 
contents, called by physicians the placenta, or after- 
birth, which is separated from the womb, until the 
fingers reach the membranes, this is to be done; and 
breaking the membranes, it is to be immediately passed 
into the womb. But, if you cannot readily pass the 
separated portion of the placenta, and the flooding be 
great, you are to pass through it, which is less danger- 
ous than to separate a larger portion, by passing the 
hand between it and the womb. The hand being now 
in the womb, the neck will generally cling so close to 
the wrist, as to prevent the escape of much water, and 
you will find room to act with freedom. Here you are 
to deliberate, and to refresh the woman with some 
proper drink. You ought now to get at the feet of 
the child, by all practicable and gentle means. You 
are to recollect, that the most natural presentation 
is the most common: and in that case, the child's head 
'«; ;it the brim of the pelvis or basin, with the face and 



438 GUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

belly to the back of the mother, the knees bent to its 
breast, and the feet towards the upper part of the womb- 
As, therefore, the child must ultimately be turned, this 
is the best time to push the head and shoulders up 
towards the fundus, and to turn the face of the child to 
the back of the mother, which is most easily done 
within the membranes; by this movement the feet of 
the child will be brought within reach of the hand, and 
having secured them, they may be easily brought, by a 
waving motion, into the vagina or birth-place. You 
are always to remember, that you are to pause when- 
ever a pain comes on. Next, you are to bring down 
the hips and body of the child ; and take care, if it be 
necessary, to turn the child gently, so that when it is 
delivered to the arm-pits, the belly of the child shall be 
to the back of the mother, which is the position in which 
the arms and head can be most easily delivered. Now, 
or before this time, examine the navel string, and occa- 
sionally pull it down a little, so as to prevent its being 
stretched. If the pulsation has ceased in the cord, or 
if the woman floods freely, either the child or the 
mother may be lost by delay ; and you are to finish the 
delivery as soon as you prudently can, in doing which, 
you are to remember, that gentleness, caution and dex- 
terity are always to be used in preference to force." 

There are few conditions more truly dangerous and 
alarming, than flooding to any excess, towards the expi- 
ration of the natural term of pregnancy ; and I there- 
fore, strongly and emphatically advise, that in all such 
cases, where an experienced and skilful physician can 
possibly be had, he be immediately sent for — and espe- 
cially where a forced abortion is essential to the preser- 
vation of the life of the woman. Such cases always 
require skill, judgment, promptness of conduct, and 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 139 

decision of resolution ; lie must therefore be a man who 
can decide coolly, and act with firmness and caution. 
After the delivery, or rather the abortion has been pro- 
duced, the womb may be assisted in its contraction, and 
the flooding retarded and stopped, by the means I have 
already noticed so plainly; in addition to which, the 
rest of the woman will be promoted, and her recovery 
much hastened, by small or weak anodynes, in some 
cordial julep, such as spirituous cinnamon water, or a 
little good weak toddy with nutmeg. These are the 
remedies first called for, and they are to be succeeded 
by small portions of nourishing diet, repeated with cau- 
tion whenever called for, and by strengthening articles, 
such as tonics in which peruvian bark has been infu- 
sed, and port wine, in which cinnamon bark has been 
infused. 



LABOR. 

The commencement of labor means, the time the 
woman begins to be delivered of her child. She is 
always warned of the approach of her time, by pains 
which arc called labor pains. They are produced by 
contraction or drawing up of the womb, which at the 
commencement expels or forces out a slimy matter, gen- 
erally colored with blood, which is called the shew. As 
soon as this matter is discharged, the mouth of the 
womb, at each pain, begins to open and widen itself, so 
as to permit the contents of the womb to pass. You 
will recollect, that I have before informed you what the 
womb, in pregnancy contains. These pains increase 
gradually, the belly diminishes in size, and the womb 



140 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEUICINti. 

seems to sink, or approach nearer to the birth-place. 
The pains are at first quite short, and only come on 
after considerable intervals ; the woman is now restless, 
first hot and then cold, and not unfrequently sick at the 
stomach. She is also often griped, and frequently 
belches wind, or passes it off backward, which should 
never be restrained from false delicacy. These pains 
now fly quickly to the back, and then again to the bot- 
tom of the belly. The woman has now a great desire 
to urinate, or make water frequently, and to go to stool. 
These inclinations are always to be attended to, because 
emptying the bladder, and evacuating the bowels fre- 
quently before actual child-birth comes on, are highly 
important and ought never to be neglected. The pains 
having been sharp and some time between them, she 
then begins to be uneasy and fretful, and requests some- 
thing to be given to her, to bring on the pains more 
rapidly. 

This is the precise point of time in which so many 
injuries are done, by ignorance and officiousness, in 
attempting to force nature into premature exertions, who 
if let alone a little while, would in almost all cases per- 
form her office, according to the dictates of divine 
wisdom, and with safety both to the mother and child: 
for you may be assured that what you so much dread, is 
intended for your eventual benefit, by permitting the 
womb gradually to distend or open, with perfect safety 
to the parts, and in order that you may be blessed with 
an easy birth, and a living and uninjured offspring. 
You will always know the pains I now speak of, by an 
irresistible desire to catch hold of every thing within 
your reach, such as the bedstead, a chair, and 'so on. 
These pains, as I have already told you, arise from the 



(iUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



441 



constant efforts of nature to open the mouth of the 
womb, and they must and will continue, until she 
accomplishes her end. 

When this is the case, and the mouth of the womb is 
sufficiently widened, nature will immediately commence 
her efficient and powerful operations, to press down the 
infant, so as to empty the womb. You will immediately 
know this change, by a pressing down pain, if I may be 
allowed the expression, which gradually increases to a 
strong sensation of bearing down. Although these for- 
cing pains are powerful and strong, yet the woman will 
bear them with more apparent ease and fortitude, than 
those which were felt in the first stage of labor. At this 
time, the membranous bag which contains the child and 
the waters which surround it, and which I have before 
described to you, is pushed out of the womb by degrees 
at every pain. The distance which this bag extends 
out, varies in size in different women ; sometimes it is 
very small, and sometimes of considerably large dimen- 
sions. It continues gradually to force open, and to 
widen the mouth of the womb, until it opens the parts 
sufficiently to permit the head of the child to pass. 
You will now perceive, that by these gradual exertions 
of nature, to arrange and prepare all things properly, 
those delicate parts, which by sudden and powerful 
exertions would have been seriously injured, are now 
sufficiently enlarged to permit the birth of your infant 
without injury. And you will also discover, by what I 
have disclosed to you, that if nature is hurried by an 
imprudent physician or midwife, by forcing the child 
away before the parts are sufficiently widened, great 
and signal injuries must be the consequences, both to 

the mother and child. 

56 



t» 



442 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

As soon as the parts arc sufficiently prepared for the 
birth of the child, this membranous bag bursts open, 
and the waters are discharged; sometimes, however, 
these events take place at an early stage of the labor. 
When this is the case, the labor is never so easy as under 
other circumstances. The quantity and quality of this 
water, differ in different women, as I have before told 
you. When these waters, then, burst forth in proper 
time, which I have pointed out, the bearing down pain 
continues, and the child gradually enters into the world. 
As soon as the child's head passes, the woman's relief 
is very great, and a little rest ought to be allowed her; 
you are by no means to pull the body out by force, for 
by so doing, you will produce great injury to the soft 
parts, and at the same time render it very difficult to 
deliver the woman of the after-birth. 

I must here remark emphatically, that this is another 
stage of labor, at which thousands of women are inju- 
red materially and fatally, by the hurry and officiousness 
of midwives, in hastily forcing the birth. Give time, 
and I will ensure that nature will exercise sufficient 
power to expel the child in her own time. The body 
of the child is not to be pulled and forced outward ; let 
it alone — converse with the sufferer, and cheer her spir- 
its, and tell her that from the time the child's head 
makes it appearance, she is not to force and bear down. 
Tell her that by so doing, she will force the child for- 
ward, before the parts, are ready ; and that the conse- 
quence may be, the tearing or rupturing the perineum. 
This is the part between the fundament and the 
birth-place. Tell her that such an injury would leave 
her in a wretched condition for life, and must be avoided 
by all means. It is the duty of the midwife or physi- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 443 

cian, as the child's head passes, to keep one hand 
pressed firmly yet cautiously against the perineum, 
which must, of course, from distension or stretching, be 
very thin and easily torn ; and at the same time gently 
press so as to incline the head of the child upward 
toward the pubes. 

When the woman has rested, and the pains again 
come on, the hand must again be pressed against the 
perineum with steadiness and care, until the shoulders 
and hips of the child pass, at the same time gently 
supporting the child, and delivery is over so far. 

The child being now born, you are to permit it to lie 
still a few minutes, without being molested. Give it 
fresh air, and time to breathe, and the pulsation in the 
navel-cord will begin to diminish. This pulsation, by 
all means, should be suffered to subside, before you sep- 
arate the child from the mother. You will then, with 
a waxed thread, or a small string, make a moderately 
firm tie about the navel-cord, about three inches from 
the navel of the child ; then make another tie, about 
three inches further from the child, on the navel-cord, 
and cut the cord asunder between the two ties, with a 
scissors or sharp knife. 

You are now to hold steadily, but by no means, as 
you value the life of the mother, to pull the navel-cord 
which has been tied and cut off; because this cord is 
attached to the after-birth, which is still in the body of 
the mother, and is yet to be delivered. Permit me to 
caution you, to implore you, to commaud you, not to 
pull away, by force, the after-birth ; for I do now know 
some of the finest women in the United States, who are 
suffering daily and hourly, and will continue to suffer 
during their lives, from officiously and imprudently for- 
cing away from them the after-birth, which nature 



444 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

herself would have effected, without risk or pain, had 
she been left to her own exertions. By pulling away 
the after-birth, before the proper time, and before nature 
expels it by what are called after-pains, the consequen- 
ces will and must always be, flooding, and great loss of 
blood; because you force the separation, before you 
give time for the contraction of the blood vessels — in 
other words, before the mouths of the blood vessels 
have had time to close. In fact, the exercise of com- 
mon sense cannot fail to teach you, that where the after- 
birth is yet connected with, and strongly adheres to the 
womb, force will always tear the womb from its con- 
nexions, and be productive of unspeakable injuries. 
From this plain statement of facts, and the reasoning I 
have employed, I am convinced you will exercise due 
caution, in a matter of such vast importance to the 
future health and safety of the mother. 

According to the old usage and practice, the child 
would be immediately washed in warm water, and not 
unfrequently in spirits. Either of these plans of treat- 
ing the infant, in fact both of them are highly improper, 
and have been the causes of destroying thousands of 
children. Warm water or spirits, ought never to be 
used in this manner, unless the infant be born appa- 
rently dead; in such a case, warm water merely is 
proper to be applied. For a further explanation of this 
important matter, look under the head "treatment of 
new-born infants." 

The woman having rested for a short time, after her 
separation from the child in the manner I have descri- 
bed to you, the after-pains may be expected to come on, 
for the expulsion of the after-birth. These pains are 
produced by the contraction or drawing up of the womb, 
to deliver or expel this after-birth : they generally come 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 445 

on, in the lapse of from fifteen minutes to an hour, 
after the child has been brought forth. You are now 
to remember, that none but gentle and simple measures 
are to be used, in order to produce the expulsion or 
delivery of the after-birth. You are now to rub the 
belly of the woman, and gently extend or pull the cord, 
at the same time that she blows with some force into 
the palms of her own hands; the policy of this blow- 
ing is obvious — it will cause a gentle and natural bear- 
ing down, without the straining which would arise from 
holding and forcing the breath. If the woman be 
healthy and strong, if she has lost no blood, and if 
she feels able, let her stand up, and support herself on 
the shoulders of the operator or physician, while he is 
endeavoring, by the means just pointed out, to relieve 
her of the after-birth. I have, however, often succeed- 
ed in delivering the after-birth, when the womb would 
not contract, and when the woman was in a lying pos- 
ture, by introducing the finger up the birth-place, and 
^ently turning it around in the mouth of the womb; 
in this case, the sensation felt in the mouth of the 
womb, will generally cause it to contract, and expel 
the contents. 

If all these means fail, and an hour passes without 
the expulsion of the after-birth, you are to introduce 
your hand with great caution, the parts being very sore, 
and open your fingers inside and round the edge of 
the womb ; at the same time that you feel cautiously, 
and slowly separate, between the edges of the after- 
birth and the womb, any parts which may adhere as 
the womb gradually closes. When the after-birth is 
expelled or brought away, and any great discharge of 
blood takes place, apply to the belly some cloths wet 
with cold water, and put one up the birth-place, as 



446 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

directed in flooding. The woman is then to be wiped 
or very gently rubbed dry, and suffered to rest quietly 
for several hours. 



DIFFICULT LABOR. 

Most cases of tedious labor, arise among women 
with their first child, with women who have married 
late in life, and with those who are so healthy, robust, 
and corpulent, that the parts seem to relax so slowly, as 
hardly to permit the birth of the child. The loss of 
some blood from the arm will be proper; and, I have 
frequently, after bleeding, put them in warm water ; in 
doing this however, you must be careful as to the child. 
I have known instances, in which women have had 
their children in the close-stool or pot, while in the act 
of endeavoring to urinate or have a stool. The warm 
bath and bleeding will relax the system, sufficiently in 
all probability for the child to be born ; but take care 
that the child is not injured by the water, while the 
woman is in the bath. 

When convulsions or fits take place during labor, 
and the woman has before complained of great pain in 
the head, and dimness with loss of sight, remember 
that you are to bleed freely, and to open the bowels 
with clysters, or some gentle laxative medicine. The 
most powerful means, and the best known, for relieving 
tedious or difficult labor is blood letting from the arm ; 
and it should always be done if the woman is strong, 
healthy, and of a vigorous constitution. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 447 

TWINS. 

What I have already said on the subject of labors 
relates to cases in which nature presents the mother 
with but one offspring from a pregnancy. You are 
well aware, however, that she sometimes presents a 
parent with two children; and, in the western country, 
if rumor speaks the truth, she in more than one instance, 
has not even stopped at this number. In about ninety 
nine cases out of a hundred, the directions I have 
given you, which relate to the birth of one child, will 
be found sufficiently ample and particular ; but I must 
not omit to instruct you also, as to cases of child-birth, 
in which more than one child is to be born. 

It is not easy to ascertain, that there are twins, or 
more than twins to be born, until after the birth of the 
first child ; and if there arc three to be born, not until 
after the birth of the second. Where twins are to be 
produced, the membranes of both children may be felt 
at the birth place, sometimes before the delivery of one 
of them, but not often; and sometimes, but very sel- 
dom, it may be distinguished on examination, that 
different parts of both children present themselves. 
Twins are always considerably smaller than single 
children, which generally causes their birth to be more 
easy and rapid ; in fact, the rapidity of a first birth, 
generally produces the first suspicion that there are 
twins. Generally speaking, immediately after the birth 
of the first child, another may be felt by very accurate 
pressure on the belly of the mother. But if the womb 
be very capacious or large, rather than subject yourself 
to great uncertainty, the hand may be very cautiously 
and gently introduced, and the child distinguished by 
the touch. Where there are twins, the second child 
is brought forth, within about an hour of the first, and 



448 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

in a position directly contrary to the first ; so that when 
the first is presented with the head foremost, the second 
may always be expected, with the breech or feet fore- 
most. 

"The first child being delivered," says Doctor , 

"as prescribed in single cases, sometime must be allow- 
ed to recruit the woman's strength, and to afford nature 
time for bringing on the next delivery. There are 
cases in which it would be necessary to wait even three 
or four hours. 1st. — When artificial aid was used in 
the first case. 2d. — When the child presents unnatu- 
rally. 3d. — When fits of flooding come on. 

"When both children present naturally, and the la-' 
bor of the first ends without aid, and without much 
fatigue to the patient, I wait for the secondary pains; 
but should these not come on in a reasonable time, 
four hours, I introduce my hand cautiously, and rupture 
the membranes; when, commonly, the second child 
passes readily through the pelvis or basin. If the first 
labor has been natural, and the second child presents 
in a wrong direction, I have generally, without delay, 
extracted it by the feet. If the first labor has been 
unnatural, with but little delay, the membranes are to 
be ruptured ; and, whether the child should be brought 
down immediately, and delivered by the feet or not — 
the operating physicians or midwife must decide. The 
rules applicable to twins, will equally apply to cases 
where there are three or more children." 

Where a woman has brought forth twins, or more, 
great care and attention are necessary to prevent her 
from fainting. She should, therefore, not have her 
head raised or elevated ; and even in moving, should 
have herself rolled over in the bed. A broad bandage 
round the belly, should never be omitted in the case of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 149 

twins, to support the belly of the mother. The direc- 
tions I have already laid down, respecting the after-birth 
of single children, are fully and entirely applicable in 
the cases of twins, and more children even than two. 



DIRECTIONS FOR MIDWIVES. 

The following remarks are especially intended for 
the serious consideration and benefit of midwives ; and 
indeed of all such as are in the practice of officiating 
in the delivery of pregnant women. Regularly bred 
and licensed physicians are always presumed to know 
their duties, and to perform them with skill and judg- 
ment, in this highly responsible department of their 
profession. The practice of midwifery, by those who 
are not regularly taught the medical profession, and 
who are presumed to know little or nothing about the 
organization of the human system, implies the assump- 
tion of a most awful and dangerous responsibility; 
especially when it is considered, that the fatal conse- 
quences, of ignorance and presumption, if combined 
with total disregard of moral feelings, duties and prin- 
ciples, are nearly as chargeable with criminality, as if 
they proceeded from voluntary and intentional viola- 
tions of the laws of God! There is very little differ- 
ence, in other words, between the disregard of those 
duties which are enjoined by the laws of justice and 
humanity, and their palpable and unconditional viola- 
tion. 

The directions which I shall lay down for your con- 
siderate adoption, will be plain, simple, and natural; 
they will be obscured by no technical language, and 
rendered unintelligible to you bv none of the mysteries 

57 



450 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

of the medical profession ; and if you scrupulously at- 
tend to them, they will enable you to be successful in 
ninety-nine cases of midwifery out of a hundred, in 
which you may be engaged. If you wish to be 
esteemed great and skilful in your calling, and if you 
desire to be an instrument in the hands of divine provi- 
dence, for affording consolation and relief to your sex 
in the hour of affliction, treasure up the salutary advice, 
and never lose sight of it — that you are never to force 
nature; that you are to give her time to perform her 
operations; and, if you have any doubt as to the suc- 
cess of the delivery, you are to run no risks, but to call 
in the aid of a skilful and experienced physician. By 
attending to this course of conduct, you will relieve 
yourself of dangerous responsibilities, discharge your 
duties to a fellow creature, and appear in the presence 
of your Creator, with the consciousness of having 
acted in obedience to the most solemn injunctions of 
humanity. 

1st. Immediately on your being called to deliver a 
woman, your first enquiry of her should be, as to the 
state of her bowels, whether she has had a stool, and 
whether she is bound or constipated in her bowels. I 
need not tell you, that the discharge of the bowels, and 
also of the urine or water from the bladder, are both 
important and even necessary — first, in preventing in- 
juries to the parts, as the child enters the world — and 
second, to render the labor and birth more easy and 
safe. You will, of course, therefore, strictly attend to 
these evacuations, and in proper time. 

2d. You are now to ascertain and determine, wheth- 
er actual labor has taken place or not; and, the only 
certain and satisfactory signs of actual labor, are such 
as I have before minutely described to you. The 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 451 

mouth of the womb is to be felt, by introducing the 
linger with much tenderness up the birth-place; and if 
you feel that it dilates or opens, during the time that a 
pain takes place, the woman is in actual labor. 

3d. When examining, conduct the operation with 
caution and tenderness; and at the same time, take 
care to have your nails closely and smoothly pared, 
because your finger will feel the membranous bladder 
or bag containing the waters. If the labor be not much 
advanced, you will only feel the mouth of the womb 
and its dilatation or opening at every pain. 

4th. Place a pillow between the thighs of the wo- 
man, so as to give sufficient room for the child to pass, 
and for its head to rest upon as it enters into the world* 
and let the woman draw up her legs. 

5th. As the head of the child advances, press your 
right hand steadily and firmly against the part between 
the fundament and birth-place, called by physicians 
perineum, so as to give it support, and prevent its rup- 
turing or tearing; at the same time that you incline 
the child's head to the pubes, which are the parts which 
form the arch in front. If you will recollect, and if 
you do not read the part over again, I have fully de- 
scribed and enforced the necessity, of your being 
extremely careful to prevent injuries to the perineum ; 
for by its being ruptured or torn, which is sometimes 
the case from incautiousness and imprudence, as well 
as from hurrying the birth, the lower gut or fundament, 
and the birth-place itself, become one opening from the 
tearing or laceration of the perineum. On this point, 
(hen, let me again urge you to be extremely careful. 

6th. If the child's head advances forward too rapid- 
ly, resist or stop its passage outward, for one or two 
pains, with your hand; by these means you will in-. 



452 GUNNiS DOMESTIC MEDICINE, 

crease the powers or energies of nature in the mother, 
avoid all risks of injuring the perineum, and give ulti- 
mate facility or ease in the delivery. 

7th. So soon as the head is delivered, the woman 
will have some respite from her sufferings. You must 
then converse with her, and encourage her to be 
patient and firm in her resolutions. Remember now, 
that the head of the child is to be supported, and that 
no force or pulling whatever is to be used. You are to 
wait patiently, for the next exertions of nature, who 
will always perform her operations in due time; the 
woman is by no means to strain, bear down, or force 
her pains. As I told you before, and gave you the 
reasons, she may blow strongly into the palms of her 
hands, but exercise impulsion or force no further. 

8th. The child being born, you have now nothing to 
do, for a few minutes, but to give it fresh air, and per- 
mit it to cry. After it has had sufficient time to breathe 
freely, and the navel cord has in some measure ceased 
its pulsation, the cord is to be tied about three inches 
from the navel of the child, and then again about an 
inch and a half from the first knot, and cut asunder 
between the two ties, with a scissors or any other sharp 
instrument. But I have told you this before. 

9th. When the child is separated from the mother, 
you are not to wash it, according to the old custom . 
this is a wrong and highly improper plan, and frequent- 
ly produces serious injuries to the child, as you will be 
fully informed by reading under the head, "treatment of 
new-born infants," which you will find among the dis- 
eases of children. 

10th. Now comes the period, in which so many 
women are injured for life, by ignorance and imprudent 
haste. Let the woman rest a short time, and await 



QUN1P8 DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 453 

patiently the return of the pains which are to expel the 
after-birth, which the womb will do by contraction. 
Your own good sense will teach you, that if you pull 
or force down the after-birth, you will also pull down 
the womb, or separate the after-birth before the womb 
has contracted, so as to stop the blood vessels from 
pouring out their contents. Now, if you do pull, after 
all the advice to the contrary I have given you, the con- 
sequence will be, that the woman will bleed to death. I 
have told you before, how to excite the womb to action, 
so as to bring on the pains for expelling the after-birth. 
You are to rub her belly ; and if she is a strong woman, 
and feels able, you may, by assistants, raise her up by 
supporting her under the arms. She may then blow in 
her hands, a long breath, for the reasons I have already 
given you, As soon as an after-pain comes on, the 
midwife is gently to stretch the cord, but not to pull it 
or use any force. By the motion of the cord, or its 
gentle extension, the after-birth is very apt to come 
away. If you do not think proper to use these meas- 
ures, you may turn the woman over on her belly, and 
introduce your finger into the mouth of the womb, with 
much care, the parts being extremely sore ; then turn- 
ing the finger gently round the mouth of the womb, as 
you would round the edge of a cup, the womb will con- 
tract ; now gently stretch the cord, and you will extricate 
the after-birth, generally speaking, with safety. An 
hour, an hour and a half, or two hours, may be allowed 
for the expulsion of the after-birth. 

When it cannot be delivered, proper means are to be 
used for its expulsion, in other words, for its discharge. 
These means are the following: — Let the midwife intro- 
duce into the birth-place, her hand, with the fingers 
collected into a point, and made as small as possible. 



454 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

At the mouth or edge of the womb, let her open or 
extend her fingers, and rub them carefully round the 
edge. These measures will cause the womb to con- 
tract; then, with the fingers gently introduced between 
the after-birth and the womb itself, she must slowly 
separate them from each other, should they adhere or 
stick together. Recollect distinctly, that all this is to be 
done, while the contraction is going on. 

11th. If the discharge of blood is great, after this 
operation, apply cloths wet with cold water to the belly 
of the woman, as in flooding ; and push up the birth- 
place gently, and not too far, a soft cloth also wet with 
cold water, as directed in flooding. 

12th. When the woman is relieved of the after-birth, 
let a wide bandage be placed round her, pleasantly 
tight, and let her also be wiped dry. The clothes which 
are wet, and those which were placed under her, are 
now to be removed, and she permitted to remain per- 
fectly quiet, and to take her repose. If she complains 
of faintness, or seems exhausted, give her some wine 
and water, or a little toddy on which some nutmeg 
has been grated. 

I have now given you a full description of what I 
intended, and I am persuaded, in such plain terms, that 
any woman of common senss can afford the requisite 
assistance in common cases of labor* 



DIRECTIONS AFTER LABOR. 

After labor, the more quiet the woman can be kept 
the better. The fact is, that she is to move or be 
moved, as little as possible, and to lie principally on her 
back. Her nipples are to be washed with milk-warra 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 455 

water, before the infant is put to the breast, which ought 
to be done within twelve hours after the birth. If the 
woman has lost considerable blood during the labor, 
the milk will be longer in flowing than otherwise. 
When this is the case, apply bread and milk poultices 
warm over the nipples; these will soon cause the milk 
to discharge. 

You will frequently observe, in women who have had 
children, that their bellies protrude or stick out, as if 
they were always in a state of pregnancy. This is 
owing to neglect and bad management. To avoid it, 
on the second day after child-birth, you are to apply 
round the whole belly, moderately tight, a broad ban- 
dage of oloth or flannel ; the last is the best, which is to 
be worn for at least one month. It is not to be too 
tight, but merely tight enough to support the parts 
pleasantly. This will prevent the woman, after having 
recovered, from having a large and ill-shaped belly. 

You are now to bear in mind, and that too, particu- 
larly, the advice I am about to give you, especially if 
you value your health, and probably the preservation 
of your life. On the second day after delivery, you are 
to take a dose of castor oil or epsom salts. More than 
two-thirds of the women who have been afflicted with, 
and finally died of child-bed fever, have owed their fate 
to neglecting, after the birth of their infants, to attend 
to the evacuation of their bowels. If you do not like 
to take salts or castor oil, evacuate the bowels with clys- 
ters: — see the head clystering. The fact is, you are 
not to let twenty-four hours pass, after the birth of a 
child, without a passage or stool. The consequences 
of this neglect always are, that it is not only an injury 
to yourself, but the child. When you have such pas- 
sages as I have told you are necessary, you are not to 



456 GUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

exert yourself by getting out of bed, but to have a basin 
or other handy convenience placed under you ; folding 
a blanket at the same time to prevent you from getting 
wet. In this way, without any danger or indelicacy, 
have these passages, from which you will receive much 
relief in body and mind, and derive much benefit in 
your recovery. 

You are every day, without fail, to have the birth- 
place washed with milk-warm water and good clear 
milk. This is to be done, by putting under the bed 
clothing, a basin of warm water, and having your hips 
and thighs raised with a pillow or some bed clothes. 
In this situation, a common squirt made of elder or cane 
may be used, or a female syringe, which can be procu- 
red at any doctor's shop in the conntry. Every day 
warm water is to be thrown up the birth-place, so as 
to cleanse the parts ; and to remove any clots of blood 
or matter, called by physicians the lochia, which by 
remaining would produce irritation and fever. If you 
wish to escape child-bed fever, and the whole train of 
afflictions incidental thereto, you are particularly to 
attend to these directions. 

In two or three days after delivery, for a short time, 
you may sit up in the bed, supported with a chair at your 
back covered with pillows ; this will assist the natural 
discharges from the birth-place. You are not to stand 
up before the sixth day ; and in making any change, you 
are to do it very gradually. You are to be kept neither 
too warm nor too cool ; the air of the room is to be 
kept pleasant and agreeable: and you are never to be 
exposed to a current of air. Two weeks after delive- 
ry, is about the general time of leaving your room; 
this however will depend on your situation; caution 
must always be used in the change, so as to bring it on 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 457 

gradually. Sudden changes are always dangerous, to 
women immediately delivery, and indeed until after 
they are completely restored. 

From the moment the woman is delivered of her 
child, the whole system becomes inclined to fever, and 
particularly for three or four days after delivery. Your 
own good sense will now teach you, that the practice of 
giving in such cases spirituous liquors, highly seasoned 
food, heating meats, and strengthening medicines, is 
directly contrary to what ought to be done: giving such 
matters as I have just named, keeping the woman in a 
constant sweat, and closing the room so as to confine 
all the foul air around her, are the very means of bring- 
ing on the fever which you ought to endeavor to escape. 
Therefore, let me tell you, in as plain and emphatic 
language as I can find, that whatever adds to the heat 
of the woman's body, or to the febrile or feverish action 
of the system, will always encourage the coming on of 
fever, or increase it if it has come on. On the contrary, 
light cooling diet must be used ; the woman must neither 
be subjected to extremes of heat or cold ; her clothing 
and her bed-chamber must be so attended to, as neither 
to oppress her with coldness nor heat ; attention to these 
things, in ten days or two weeks, after she has had her 
child, will so exempt her from fever, that in a little time 
her health will be fully established. 



LOCHIA 

This word is derived from the Greek. It means, to 
bring forth, and also, the cleanings: by which are 
intended here, the serous or watery, and often green-col- 
ored discharges, that take place from the womb and 

58 



458 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

birth-place, during the first three or four days after 
delivery, when they generally subside. During the first 
four days, these discharges are apt to change their color, 
and frequently to become offensive, unless due caution 
and cleanliness have been observed. 

If they are profuse or great, and there is considerable 
weakness, cloths wet with cold water must be applied 
to the belly. There must also be cold water thrown up 
the birth-place, and also a clyster of cold water taken, 
at the same time that some laxative medicine is taken 
to open the bowels: as these, however, are necessary 
discharges, they are not to be suddenly checked, unless 
they seem to be going on to a dangerous extent. 

On the contrary, if they should stop too suddenly, they 
must be immediately brought on again, by a course of 
treatment directly opposite to that I have just laid down. 
Applications of a warm nature must be made to the 
belly ; and clysters of milk-warm water, instead of cold 
ones, must be given — see the head clystering. Should 
the woman be feverish, or of a fat and full habit of 
body, the loss of a little blood will be proper. 



FAINTINGS. 
If the woman should faint after the delivery of her 
child, ascertain immediately if there is a flooding. 
Should this be the case, use the coldest applications, as 
directed under the head flooding. On examination, 
should there be no flooding, give her wine, or some 
toddy, or some spirit and water, and draw the bandage 
tight, for an hour or two, round her belly. If her feet 
and legs are cold, apply hot bricks, or other warm mate- 
rials to them, 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



459 



CHILLS. 
When the woman complains of cold after her deliv- 
ery, or that cold chills are stealing over her, which is 
sometimes the case, make warm applications to her 
belly, feet, and legs, and give her nothing but warm 
balm or sa^e tea to drink. If the shake is very severe, 
let the persons round the bed, grasp with both hands her 
thighs and legs, and hold them firmly but tenderly until 
the shivering subsides. Recollect, now, that you are 
to give no heating spirits at this time, or you will cer- 
tainly produce a fever. Should the chills continue, you 
are to have recourse to laudanum or opium — see table 
of doses. These last articles are not, however, to be 
given, unless the chills continue, or are very severe. 



AFTER PAINS. 
These pains are brought on, by the contraction of 
the womb, in the exertions of expelling the clots of blood 
and secretions, which are contained in the womb after 
the birth. When not very severe, you are to let them 
alone; but if too excruciating and severe, you will gen- 
erally relieve them, by applying cloths wrung out of 
warm water to the back and belly. If the pains con- 
tinue to be severe, throw a clyster up the bowels or 
fundament, made of thin gruel, milk-warm, in which 
put a tea-spoonful of laudanum — see the head clystering, 



4(>0 pi'NN'S DOMESTIC MEDICOO. 

INFLAMMATIONS. 

From difficult or tedious labor, the parts frequently 
become inflamed and swelled ; and sometimes there are 
quantities of blood, which form a substance in the mouth 
of the birth-place, which I believe has no name. 
Although there is no danger in this matter* yet it fre- 
quently produces great pain and uneasiness. These 
inflammations are to be relieved by cold applications, 
such as cold poultices of light bread and milk ; bathing 
the parts with, and throwing up injections of cold water; 
or by making use of the following preparation: — In a 
pint of cold water, put a tea-spoonful of sugar of lead, 
and bathe the parts with the mixture. Or you may 
rub them well with sweet oil, keep them cool, and daily 
cleanse them with cold water. 

If the belly feels very sore on being pressed, bathe it 
often in warm water ; or apply cloths to it wrung out of 
warm water, and rub the belly well; with the following 
liniment. Get equal quantities of spirits of hartshorn 
and sweet oil: mix them well together, and rub the 
belly two or three times a day with this mixture. This, 
with the warm bathing, as just directed, will give 
immediate relief. 



INFLAMMATION OF THE BREASTS 
This disease generally arises from want of care after 
delivery; by which want of care I mean, that proper 
attention has not been paid to your system, in order to 
prevent fever, which is always produced from eating or 
drinking stimulating articles too freely, and before the 
milk has had time to secrete freely. This effect is also 
produced, by permitting the bereasts to remain distended 



•not* DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 461 

too long with milk. In this case, great pain with in- 
flammation comes on; in other words, fever is the 
consequence of this neglect. 

If there seems any disposition to inflammation, the 
best preventive is to apply, a few hours after delivery, 
warm poultices of light bread and milk to the breasts, 
for at least three hours. This will assist the natural 
discharge of the milk. If the child refuse to suck, fill 
a common black bottle with warm water, and apply the 
nipple to the mouth of the bottle, which will gently 
draw the milk, as the water becomes cooler. Bathe 
the breast well with sweet oil or hog's lard, at the same 
time. If the inflammation continue, put a tea-spoonful 
of sugar of lead, in a pint of cold water, and keep a 
cloth, wet with this mixture, constantly to the breast; but 
recollect, you are not to wet the nipple with this mix- 
ture, by which means it may get into the child's mouth. 
When the inflammation is severe, Doctor Physic re- 
commends a blister over the breast. When matter is 
fully formed, make a small puncture or hole with a 
lancet, so as to permit it gradually to escape. I have 
always, however, relieved by poultices and sugar of 
lead, as above directed, without the painful necessity of 
using a blister. 



MILK FEVER. 
This fever is owing to the change of the system, 
after the delivery of the child, by the swelling and 
irritation of the breasts, from the milk secreted in them. 
This always occasions the discharge from the womb 
to lessen in quantity. You will now recollect the ad- 
vice I have given you before, as to applying poultices 



462 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

to the breasts for a few hours, anointing the breasts 
well with sweet oil or lard, taking some laxative medi- 
cines, and living on low diet. These measures and 
precautions, will enable you to avoid the following 
unpleasant feelings: heat, thirst, head-ache, and fever. 
Although this fever is quite common, and may be easily 
removed, yet the imprudence of neglecting the above 
advice, may be the cause of other complaints, which I 
shall in their proper places mention. If the breasts 
are painful, take a dose of salts to cool the system: 
and if the fever continue, the loss of a little blood from 
the arm will be proper. Drink mild balm or sage tea, 
in which put about twenty drops of antimonial wine. 
This drink may be given occasionally, so as to produce 
a gentle moisture or sweat on the skin. Take no 
heating articles, and live on light cooling diet. In a 
few days the milk will flow, and the fever go off. 



SWELLED LEG. 

This disorder takes place after child birth, and I am 
happy to say that it seldom occurs, when due caution 
and cleanliness have been observed. I am of opinion 
that it arises from some irritating matter being left in 
the womb, or at its mouth. When you discover this 
disorder, which is known by a pain inside of the leg, 
extending to the heel and the groin, the limb always 
begins to swell, so that the slightest motion gives great 
pain. The pulse becomes quick, the skin hot, the 
tongue white, the urine thick. There are, also, slight 
pains about the womb, and the discharge from the 
birth-place is dreadfully offensive. 



GUNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 463 

REMEDIES. 
On the appearance of this complaint, get a syringe 
for females, or what will answer the same purpose, 
make a squirt of elder or cane, and throw up the birth- 
place, several times during the day, some warm water 
to cleanse it— and in the intervals of time, some good 
sweet oil. Wash the parts well, with water made 
pleasantly warm, and rub the leg or legs with the fol- 
lowing ointment. Take a gill of sweet oil, a table- 
spoonful of laudanum, and to these add a gill of spirits 
in which camphor has been dissolved. With this mix- 
ture, rub or bathe the legs twice a day ; and provided 
the woman has no purging of the bowels, let her take 
at night, and also in the morning, two grains of calomel, 
mixed with the same quantity of squills, and made 
into a pill. This is to be repeated until relief is ob- 
tained. 



CHILD BED FEVER. 

This disease is called by physicians puerperal fever. 
It generally comes on, from the fifth to the eighth day 
after the woman has been delivered: but its being ear- 
lier or later, depends very much on the woman's consti- 
tution, and the particular state of her system. I have 
before mentioned to you, that you are to be very pru- 
dent in your conduct, respecting your food, drink, and 
the state of your bowels; for on these three things 
depend, in a very great degree, your uniform health, 
and exemption from this dangerous disease, puerperal 
or child bed fever. This fever sometimes arises, from 
a stoppage of the discharge which I have described to 
you, called lochial discharge, and from the putrid mat- 



464 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ter which I told you it was composed of, and which 1 
directed you to cleanse: — see the head lochia. An un- 
due secretion of milk, a stoppage of the lochial dis- 
charge, the absorption of putrid matter from the womb, 
exposure to too great cold or heat, all these things are 
capable of producing child bed fever. This fever is 
extremely dangerous, and requires the immediate at- 
tendance of an able physician; but, as you may be so 
situated as to be unable to obtain one, I shall explain 
to you clearly the symptoms of this disorder, and also 
the proper remedies. 

Child bed fever comes on, with a chill in the first 
instance, then a flushing heat; next, the woman be- 
comes restless, and a sweat breaks out. In a short 
time this sweat dries up, and the skin becomes dry and 
burning to the touch: there is now great thirst; flush- 
ing of the face; whiteness and dryness of the tongue; 
great pain in the head and back; sickness at the stom- 
ach, sometimes attended with puking. In a short time 
the belly swells, feels full, and becomes very painful ; so 
much so, that the weight of the bed clothes, gives con- 
siderable increase of pain. The bowels become quite 
loose in some cases, and in others much constipated or 
bound ; so much so, that it is difficult to get a passage 
through them. By these symptoms you are to know 
this fever. 

I must here remark, that if this fever continues for 
some time, it is very apt to change to a typhus fever. 
When this is the case, the inflammatory symptoms 
subside, the tongue and teeth are now covered with a 
dark brown coat; small sores break out in the mouth 
and throat, similar to those in a child that has the 
thrush; the breath smells very badly; the stools are 
dark and very offensive; and not unfrequently small 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 465 

purple spots appear on different parts of the body. 
When the last symptoms appear, the case is certainly a 
very doubtful one. In the typhus stage of child bed 
fever refer to page 194, and you will find the remedies 
under the head nervous fever. The remedies in the 
first stage I have described, or child bed fever properly 
so called, are as follows. 

REMEDIES. 
While the cold stage is passing over, warm appli- 
cations to the feet and legs are to be made; and, when 
the inflammatory or hot stage comes on, as before 
described, the woman is to be bled from the arm, and 
immediately purged freely with calomel: — see table of 
doses. This purge of calomel, is to be followed up 
with a dose of epsom salts: — see table. If the woman 
is of a full, stout, and healthy habit of body, and the 
pains and fever, in eight or ten hours do not begin to 
give way; and if the pains in the head and back con- 
tinue severe, I generally draw more blood from the 
arm. During this fever, obtain a phial of antimonial 
wine, and one of sweet spirits of nitre: mix as you 
can, equal quantities of these two articles, and give a 
tea-spoonful of this mixture every half hour, in a little 
water or tea: in other words^ give it in such a manner 
as to produce a little sickness of the stomach, attended 
with a gentle moisture on the skin. If it be inconve^ 
nient for you to obtain these articles, put into a pint of 
milk warm water, ten grains of tartar emetic, and give 
of this water one or two table-spoonsful, every one or 
two hours, so as to produce and keep up a constant 
sickness at the stomach. This will lessen the fever. 
Rub the belly well with sweet oil, and by injecting a 
little up the birth-place occasionally, the irritation will 

be greatlv lessened. The application of flannel cloths, 

59 



466 GUNK»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

frequently wrung out of warm water, and laid to the 
belly, will also be highly important in lessening the 
pains and inflammation. — Should the pain continue in 
the belly, apply a blister at the upper part of each 
thigh. I would advise blistering on the belly, that be- 
ing the proper place, but then you could not apply the 
warm cloths, which are highly important. It will, 
therefore, be better to apply the blisters as directed. 
Clysters made of slippery elm, and about milk warm, 
thrown up the fundament with a proper pipe, three or 
four times a day, will answer a valuable purpose, and 
be a cooling and soothing remedy in this complaint. 
You will recollect particularly, that in this disease, 
operations must be had by the bowels, during the in- 
flammatory period: and, that when the disease changes 
its appearance and character to typhus, as it will some- 
times do, you are to gently keep the bowels open, but 
not to purge so as to weaken the patient. In this 
event, the continuance of mild clysters will be found 
truly a fine remedy. For the method of clystering, 
&c. see that head. — When purging comes on, so as 
greatly to weaken the woman, which is not unfrequently 
the case, you are to check it by giving a clyster, made 
with common starch on which hot water has been 
poured. This clyster must be about the thickness of 
gruel, and be about milk warm, in which you are to 
put twenty-five or thirty drops of laudanum: it must be 
repeated three or four times a day, as the pain and 
looseness may require, 

At the commencement of this child bed fever, the 
diet or food must be very cooling and light; but as the 
disease advances, and the woman becomes weaker, let 
the nourishment be increased : and if necessary, from 
her loss of strength in purging, or from other causes. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 467 

or if the disease seems to be approaching to the typhus 
or nervous fever, the symptoms of which I have fully 
explained, it will be necessary to support her system, 
by the assistance of good wine or toddy, and such 
nourishing food as will support the enfeebled action of 
the system. In these cases, wine and barks may be 
given also; or camomile tea made strong, and taken 
cold, occasionally through the day; or, you may give a 
strong decoction of dog-wood bark, wild cherry-tree 
bark, and swamp-poplar bark, made from equal quan- 
tities of these barks boiled together and perfectly cooled, 
in the quantity of about a wine glass full three or four 
times a day. These remedies are all valuable tonics, 
or strengthening medicines to support the system. 
Remember particularly, that no tonics or strengthening 
medicines are to be given, until after the system has 
been entirely cleansed of its impurities: and also, you 
are most particularly to bear in mind, that tonics or 
strengthening medicines are never to be given, when 
they produce or increase fever. 

Spirits of turpentine. — I am induced to believe, from 
testimony not to be questioned, that this valuable medi- 
cine, spirits of turpentine, has not yet received the 
attention, or been employed sufficiently in child bed 
fever. So far as my studies and experience will enable 
me to form and deliver an opinion, I would prefer its 
use to that of the lancet in this fever, in the reduction 
of febrile and inflammatory symptoms. I have been 
in the practice, for several years past, of using spirits 
of turpentine as a medical remedy, and feel no hesita- 
tion whatever in asserting, that a fair and impartial 
trial of it, in a great variety of cases would entitle it to 
rank and appreciation among medical remedies, of the 
very first order. In obstinate costiveness of the bowels. 



468 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and when every other remedy had failed, I have fre- 
quently used it with signal success; nor is there any 
thing superior to it in colic, and in various inflammato- 
ry or spasmodic affections of the abdominal viscera. 
In enteritis, which means inflammation of the intes- 
tines; in dysentery; and in hemorrhage, which means 
a discharge of blood, I know from practical experience, 
that it is a very valuable remedy. With these remarks, 
which I consider amply due to the subject, I will sub- 
join such testimonials of the efficacy of spirits of tur- 
pentine, as will entitle it to much attention in the 
treatment of child bed fever. 

Says Doctor Payne, in substance, pages 98-9, of the 
6th vol. Medical Recorder — "Puerperal or child bed 
fever, within the last fifteen years, has raged with its 
usual violence in many parts of this kingdom, particu- 
larly in the westriding of Yorkshire, when but few of 
those attacked by it escaped. Before the publication 
of Doct. Brennan appeared, recommending the oil of 
turpentine in this fever, blood-letting was usually resort- 
ed to; but, there was much less success attending it, 
than appears to have followed the application of the 
same remedy, in the cases of Doctor Campbell. After 
reading Brennan's work, I was glad to try a fresh 
remedy in child bed fever, because I had seen so little 
good result from blood-letting, It is now nearly eight 
years since I was called to visit a female, who labored 
under this disease; when the surgeon, who had only 
seen the patient a short time before, proposed giving 
the oil of turpentine, which was assented to, and given 
in doses of half an ounce every two hours. The effect 
was, a very copious discharge from the bowels, appear- 
ing to consist of a serous or watery fluid, tinged with 
green, in which were seen floating numerous pieces of 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 469 

white matter, like coagulable lymph. Soon afterwards 
the patient became maniacal or deranged, and contin- 
ued so for several days, when her intellects were resto- 
red, and she gradually recovered. 

"Since that period," says the doctor, "I have seen 
several cases of child-bed fever, one of which had been 
attended by a surgeon, who had discontinued his visits. 
I believe she had not been bled. Her friends, seeing I 
had an unfavorable opinion of the case, called in a more 
experienced physician, and it was agreed to try the 
oil of turpentine as a last resource. Two drachms 
of it were given every two hours, which soon brought 
on a purging, of a matter of the like nature as before 
mentioned. I have stated, in the case first mentioned, 
that mania or derangement of mind had taken place 
from giving the oil of turpentine; and the probability 
is, that the largeness of the doses produced the effect, 
by throwing too much blood to the head. In the case 
I am now speaking of, two drachms only were given 
at a dose, and the result was, that although the patient 
seemed to be at the very verge of eternity, she quickly 
recovered." 

I will give but one other case. It is one communi- 
cated to the Medical Recorder, 6th vol. page 615, by 
doctor James H. Lucas, of the county of Madison, and 
State of Georgia. It is ably and clearly detailed, and 
will be highly satisfactory to the reader. 

"On the 15th July, I was called to a woman who 
had been delivered five days before of her third child, 
after a lingering labor of two days and nights. When 
I saw her, there was a wildness of expression, and 
great anxiety, with considerable sharpness of the fea- 
tures. Her pulse was from 100 to 110. She had a 
severe pain above the eyes, a hot and dry skin, and 



470 GUNN'S DOiMESTIC MEDICINE. 

great restlessness; the tongue furred in the middle, and 
a red appearance of the edges. There was much ten- 
derness of the belly, with an appearance like a ball 
over the pubes. Her bowels were costive ; her extrem- 
ities cold, every morning about two o'clock, with a 
scarcity of the lochial discharge; the restlessness was 
also much more troublesome, in the afternoon. The 
child and placenta were both delivered as usual. As a 
preparatory means, ten grains of calomel were given, to 
be worked off with castor oil. This relieved her con- 
siderably, particularly her head. The next morning, 
the 16th, ordered her to take two tea-spoonsful of the 
spirits of turpentine, in a solution of gum arabic, or 
beaten up with the white of an egg, with a table-spoon- 
ful of castor oil in the evening to assist the operation of 
the turpentine. On the 17th, the tenderness of the 
belly had nearly subsided ; the pulse was less frequent ; 
and four more stools, of a green color and offensive 
smell from the oil and turpentine were voided. She 
was ordered to continue the medicine. On the 18th, 
the tenderness was gone, except on pressure; and the 
pulse was but 90 in a minute. Three stools had been 
passed of a less offensive smell, and but slightly tinged 
with green. The skin was much cooler than on the 
day before. The medicine was still continued. On 
the 19th, the pulse was natural, with a slight perspira- 
tion on the surface; the tenderness of the belly was 
entirely gone ; the lochial discharge of its proper quan- 
tity and color; five stools had been voided, the two last 
of which were of a natural appearance ; and her appe- 
tite was good. On the 20th, I found her up, quite 
cheerful, and perfectly free from fever or disease, and 
she has continued so ever since." 

From these cases, which are drawn from high author. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 471 

ities, the value of spirits of turpentine, as a most 
valuable remedy in child-bed fever will probably be 
acknowledged by every reader of this work. 



DISEASES OF CHILDREN. 



Surely there can be nothing more painful and dis- 
tressing to a mind of sensibility, than to be compelled to 
witness, in very many cases without being able to 
relieve, the various and often fatal diseases to which 
infants are liable. That most of them are of a mor- 
bidly irritative character, is probably well known to 
every physician who has attended to their symptoms; 
but what it is that particularly excites this diseased irri- 
tability in the intestinal canal, it would probably be 
difficult for even the most learned and skilful of the pro- 
fession to determine. 

The foolish and dangerous custom, of giving infants 
medicine the moment they are born, in order to keep 
them quiet, is a practice which ought always to be dis- 
countenanced, as laying the foundations of many disor- 
ders, sometimes destroying life itself, or entailing on the 
constitution maladies which last for life. Various med- 
icines are given to infants, for very foolish and frivolous 
reasons, which had better be let alone entirely ; such, for 
instance, as Godfrey's cordial, Bateman's drops, &c. 
&,c. all of which contain opium, and do inconceivable 
injury to infants. I do not mean by these remarks, that 
these medicines are not sometimes beneficial ; but to be 
constantly administering them on all occasions, and for 
nearly all possible purposes, must convince any person 
of common sense, that they are injurious boil to the 
health and the constitution. By suckling infants, then 



GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE: 473 

feeding or rather stuffing them, and then following up 
both by medicines, to keep them quiet, their tender 
stomachs are kept constantly loaded ; and if they are 
not fortunate enough to puke up part of what they have 
been compelled to swallow, fermentation must and will 
take place, the stomach being unable to master such a 
mass, followed by colics and purgings. The above 
remarks are made in terms thus plain, that they may be 
distinctly understood by my readers, and that they may 
profit, in the treatment of their infant children, by their 
true meaning. 



STILL BORN. 
When an infant is born apparently dead, or giving 
no signs of life, it is said to be still-born. This appear- 
ance, however, should not prevent the midwife from 
making every possible exertion for the restoration of the 
child; by patience and perseverance, thousands of 
infants have been restored to life. If no pulsation or 
beating can be felt in the navel-cord, and if there be 
marks of putrefaction and decay, I need not tell you that 
all your efforts will be fruitless. The infant, in this 
case, where there is hope, ought to be separated from 
the mother as early as possible, and wrapped in a blan- 
ket made warm by the fire. As soon as possible after 
this, its breasts are to be bathed in warm spirits, at the 
same time that you gently apply to its nostrils spirits of, 
hartshorn. If these remedies fail to restore the circula- 
tion, put if in warm water, keeping its head in such a 
position as to prevent suffocation. You may loosen the 
string on the navel-cord, so as to let it blecr 1 about a 
table-spoonful, when it must be again tied. While these 

60 



474 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

measures are in operation, you are to prepare a clyster, 
made of a table-spoonful of spirits of any kind, and 
three table-spoonsful of warm water; and if the child 
does not breathe, you are to give this clyster up the bow- 
els with a proper instrument — look under the head 
clystering. The lungs are to be filled with air, by 
means of a common syringe, the pipe of which is to 
be introduced into one nostril, while the other nostril 
and mouth are to be carefully closed ; when you are 
then by gentle pressure on the breast of the child to 
empty them: in this way the lungs are to be frequently 
filled and compressed until natural respiration or breath- 
ing takes place. Sometimes the application of a little 
cold water to the chest will restore children. In many 
instances, when the slightest action of the heart has 
been perceived, it would be advisable to keep up a fric- 
tion or rubbing over the body, for at least an hour. 
Cases are stated, and many of them, of infants still-born 
being restored by warmth and gentle rubbing, even 
when no signs of life had appeared for an hour or more 
after the birth. This should therefore encourage you 
to persevere, by every possible method, for the restora- 
tion to life of a still-born infant. 

There are instances, in which the child is born of a 
dark purple cast, in which the breathing is scarcely 
perceptible, and where death ensues in a few moments- 
When these appearances take place, the infant has 
generally some defect in the formation of the heart and 
lungs. Doctor Hosack advises, that a bath be made 
of oak-bark, four ounces of which is to be boiled for a 
few minutes in about two gallons of water. When this 
bath is prepared, add to it a pint of spirits of any kind, 
permitting it to become pleasantly warm, bathe the 
child up to the neck in this water. If it is convenient, 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 475 

you may add to this bath occasionally a table-spoonful 
of spirits of hartshorn, so as to render it stimulating. 
When the child shows symptoms of recovery, take it 
out of the bath, and wrap it in warm flannels; and 
should the infant be taken in the same way again, you 
must immediately make use of the bath, after again 
warming it. 



TREATMENT OF NEW BORN INFANTS. 

According to the old custom, the moment the child 
was separated from the mother, it was plunged in warm 
water, or washed with spirits of some kind, and well 
rubbed with a towel, to remove the mealy matter which 
adhered to it, and to prevent its taking cold, or perhaps 
to harden its skin. These foolish and dangerous prac- 
tices, have caused the death of thousands of infant 
children, or produced some other consequences highly 
detrimental to their constitutions. The consequences 
always are, that by washing and rubbing the child, you 
irritate and inflame the skin, which is at this time so 
tender, that nature in her wisdom has covered it with 
this mealy matter, to defend it from injury in entering 
the world, and to preserve it from irritability and inflam- 
mation afterward. 

An infant born in the winter season, has more of this 
mealy covering than if born during the summer ; it is 
also more thickly covered with it at the arm-pits, the 
bends of the joints, and so on, which are more liable to 
rubbing or frictional injury during labor, than other 
parts of the body: and, in addition to these considera- 
tions, this covering is intended to protect the infant 
against the action of the atmospheric air. This cover- 



476 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ing is perfectly natural, and should always be permitted 
to remain until nature herself removes it. This will be 
done in a day or two, without assistance or artificial 
means by which the skin will be left white, soft, and 
beautiful, and the child exempted from innumerable dis- 
eases—diseases, which by the old custom of washing 
and rubbing would almost invariably ensue. By the 
old custom, the skin is greatly irritated and inflamed, 
then becomes of a dark red color, and afterwards 
breaks out with those eruptions or pimples, which usu- 
ally appear on children, called red gum. 

Every person of common sense must know, that the 
application of spirits of any kind, especially when rub- 
bed on the head and body of a grown person, will 
produce smarting and give pain. Now, I ask what 
must be the consequence to an infant, whose skin is so 
delicately tender, that nature herself has shielded it 
from the atmosphere, until it will bear the change with- 
out injury. In many cases of grown persons, the 
application of brandy to the head, and washing the 
body with it, have been known to produce inflamma- 
tion of the brain, or lungs, or bowels: the evaporation 
from the surface being so great, as to induce a degree 
of cold sufficient to stop the perspiration or sweat. In 
infants, this evaporation produces inflammations of the 
bowels, or of the lungs, and sometimes of the mem- 
brane which lines the nostrils, by which the child is 
afflicted with a disease called the snuffles. 

The proper plan, and the one now practised in the 
different lying-in hospitals throughout Europe and the 
United States, is simply the following. Cleanse the 
face with tenderness and caution, with a little milk and 
water made pleasantly warm : then cover the body with 
thin muslin, over which is to be put the flannel. In a 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 477 

day or two, the mealy covering will entirely peel off, 
and nature in due time will exhibit a healthy, delicate, 
and beautiful skin, free from every disease, and entirely 
exempt from all those painful and eruptive diseases to 
which infants are usually subject, from the old method 
of treatment. 



MECONIUM. 

When a child is first born, its bowels are filled with 
a dark colored greenish matter, called by physicians 
meconium. In a short time after its birth, or as soon 
as it commences sucking the first milk from the mother, 
which milk seems by nature to be intended to remove 
this dark colored or greenish matter from the bowels, 
for it is almost immediately discharged by a stool. 
This is the reason, and I think an amply sufficient one, 
why children should be put to the breast as early as 
possible after their birth. Sometimes the milk in the 
mother's breast is rather slow in coming ; or from some 
particular cause, the child will not suck the breast, and 
consequently it will not discharge by stool, this matter 
from the bowels which I have described. It will then 
be necessary to give it something to open the bowels, 
such as a little molasses and water, which should be 
given frequently until the bowels are properly opened. 
Or you may obtain from any doctor's shop a small 
piece of manna, about the size of a walnut, and dis- 
solve it in a gill of boiling water, and when it becomes 
cool, give the infant a tea-spoonful frequently, or until 
it operates freely. Or you may, if these remedies fail, 
give a tea-spoonful of the best castor oil, which will 
remove the meconium immediately. The two first 



478 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

being the most simple remedies, should always be used 
first. Sometimes, but the cases are not frequent, this 
necessary discharge is prevented from passing, owing 
to the fact of the fundament, from some defect or other 
cause, being stopped up. Such cases require the im- 
mediate aid of an able physician, to examine and 
remove such difficulties or obstructions. 



ORIGINAL IMPERFECTIONS. 

Immediately after the birth of an infant, examine its 
body and limbs, and particularly its private parts: be- 
cause children are not all born perfect in these respects. 
The passages of infants are sometimes closed up with 
slime or tough matter, which require the aid of surgi- 
cal operations to open them, before they can pass either 
their stools or their urine. Great care and attention 
ought always to be paid by parents to these examina- 
tions. Sometimes the parts which decency forbids me 
to name, are entirely closed up by malconformation or 
deformity of those parts; these cases, however, are 
very rare and unfrequent; and I need not tell you, that 
in them no human assistance can afford relief. 

Ruptures are very common among new born infants, 
particularly about the navel. When these ruptures are 
very early observed, they may speedily be removed by 
bathing the belly frequently with cold water, and 
attending to the child's bowels: in other words keeping 
them regularly open. If the rupture should be at the 
navel, apply a piece of adhesive plaster, so as to give 
support to the parts; but by no means apply a bandage, 
which will do injury to the delicate and tender parts by 
the pressure. The fact is, that the constant application 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 479 

of cold bathing, as the infant advances in age and 
strength, will always remove these early ruptures. 

Tongue tied. — In this case, the tongue is confined to 
the roof of the mouth, by a small cord which prevents 
its motion. Sometimes, indeed, the tongue is so confin- 
ed that the infant cannot suck. But, I have sometimes 
known children cut for it where it did not exist ; there- 
fore great caution ought to be used in this operation, 
although it may be a very simple one. If the physi- 
cian, or other person, who cuts this small cord, does 
not understand it properly, or does it carelessly, so 
great a quantity of blood may be lost as to prove fatal 
to the child. As many women are very uneasy, re- 
specting their children being tongue tied, I will inform 
them that they are often alarmed unnecessarily, and 
have their children operated on when they are not 
tongue tied. A very simple method of discovering its 
situation is, by putting the end of your finger in the 
child's mouth: if it is able to clasp it with the same 
force it would the nipple, or the end of the tongue 
moves, it does not require cutting. 

Hare Up. — There are different kinds of hare lip, 
distinguished under the names of single and double 
hare lip — and not unfrequently, both lips are disfigured 
by the opening or space extending along the roof of 
the mouth. When this is the case, it has a very un- 
sightly appearance; and the operation of closing the 
lip cannot be performed, however skilful the physician, 
with any probability of success. But where there is 
only a single opening, or even double, provided it does 
not extend to the roof of the mouth, as I have descri- 
bed, the cure or operation, can be performed without 
much difficulty. You will bear in mind, that an opera- 
tion, which means endeavoring to close up the lip-. 



480 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

ought never to be performed on an infant, until it is a 
year old; requires strength to bear the operation, by 
which it is to be removed. In some cases, but they 
are very rare, the infant is unable to suck ; if this is 
the case, the operation may be performed ; but at this 
early stage, I should consider the success very doubtful. 
The method used in the country of sewing it up, is 
highly improper. The operation to be performed in 
closing up the lip, where the fissure or opening does 
not extend beyond the upper part of the gum, is as 
follows: — At any silversmith's shop, have two silver 
pins made, something longer than a common pin, and 
without any heads to them. With a sharp knife pare 
well the edges of the opening ; then with one of these 
pins, pierce the lip at the upper side entirely through, 
in a slanting direction; then pierce through on the 
other side in the same way. You will recollect to take 
a good hold, so that it will not easily tear out; then 
with your thumb and finger close together the edges 
that have been cut; now you are to wind tight round 
these pins some silk, which has been properly waxed, 
so as to draw it together that it may heal. In six or 
seven days, or perhaps earlier, it will heal or adhere 
together; then draw out the pins, and dress it with any 
simple ointment or salve, and if properly performed, 
the scar in a few days will scarcely be perceptible. 

The feet of infants are sometimes deformed, by what 
are called club feet; if this is permitted to go on 
without immediate attention, the deformity will be very 
great, and cannot be removed after the infant is a few 
months old ; the bones of the feet become hard and 
firm, whereas, at an early age, or immediately after 
birth, they are in a soft grisly state, when, if proper 
means are used, the foot or feet, by gradual compres- 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 481 

sion may be reduced to their natural form in a few 
months, if the deformity is not great: but in some 
cases, a longer time will be required. 



EXERCISE OF CHILDREN AND PURE AIR. 

If you are desirous of preserving your children's 
health, and giving them good constitutions, give them 
exercise, and let them be frequently in the open air, so 
as to accustom their bodies to the various changes of 
the atmosphere. By no means keep them in a close 
room, or cooped up as if you were afraid they would 
catch cold at every gentle breeze. I have never seen 
children thus confined whose health and constitutions 
were not, through life, extremely delicate, and subject 
to colds and various diseases, which, by a contrary 
course they would have entirely escaped. As an evi- 
dence, take two children, let one be clothed in flannel 
and protected from the slightest exposure or change of 
weather; feet constantly supplied with stockings and 
shoes, and not suffered to go out in the least damp or 
inclement weather. While the other is moderately 
clothed, perhaps hardly enough to cover it with decen- 
cy; no shoes or stockings; exposed to all kinds of 
weather, even during our inclement winters, without a 
shoe to its little feet. The first will be pale, thin, weak- 
ly, and of a delicate constitution through life, subject 
to colds on every change of the weather; perhaps not 
attaining the age of manhood, before a breast com- 
plaint commences its ravages. While the other, full of 
strength, vigor, and a cheek like a rose, with healthy 
constitution, exempt from colds, and free of every dis- 
order, reaches a good old age without an hour's sick- 

61 



482 GUJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDU INK. 

ness. Are we not furnished daily with evidences of 
this fact. Why then take pains to throw up obstacles 
in the way, when, if children were permitted to exer- 
cise freely, and not so much unnecessary care bestowed 
on them after a certain age; or in other words, when 
able to run about themselves, parents would be blest 
with a more healthy and vigorous offspring, and have 
very little necessity for doctors or medicines. By the 
use of cold bathing, or in other words, washing the 
child in cold water, you will, in a great measure, pre- 
vent the galling and excoriation which frequently occur 
about the groins and privates, in the neck, behind the 
ears, &c. which are produced by the sweat or urine. 
The parts after being washed in cold water, should be 
suffered to dry, and a little fine starch dusted upon it, 
this will very much relieve the child. 



THE SNUFFLES. 

This stoppage of the nose is quite common to young 
children. It frequently prevents them from breathing 
freely and they cannot suck or swallow without consi- 
derable difficulty. This is quite a simple complaint, 
which will be speedily removed by giving the infant a 
purge of castor oil; about a tea-spoonful is the dose; 
and bathing its feet or body in warm water, pleasantly 
warm; and for a few days keeping its head a little 
warm. A little lard or sweet oil may be rubbed upon 
the nose and around the nostril. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 483 

THE RED GUM. 

The red gum breaks out in small pimples on the 
skin, generally of a red, but not unfrequently, of a 
yellow appearance. This complaint appears princi- 
pally on the face and neck ; but it sometimes breaks out 
on the hands and legs, and the pimples contain, not 
unfrequently, a white clear matter. It would be highly 
improper to use any means outwardly to remove it, for 
by so doing, you might suddenly drive in the complaint, 
and thereby destroy the life of the infant. The child 
while laboring under this disorder, should be prevented 
from being exposed to the cold air. The only danger 
in this disorder, is in driving it in; when this is the 
case, the infant is greatly distressed in the bowels, 
screams, and cries constantly; and not unfrequently 
has fits. In the management of this disorder, you are 
to keep the infant's bowels open with a little magnesia 
and rhubarb: — for the dose of either of these medi- 
cines, see table: or a tea-spoonful of castor oil may be 
given. Should the disorder suddenly disappear, and 
the child become sick from it, put it immediately in 
warm water — and give it one or two drops of antimo- 
nial wine, in a little sage tea. This may be repeated 
every hour or two, until a moisture on the skin is pro- 
duced, and the pimples or eruptions brought out again 
on the body. 



YELLOW GUM. 

This is a disorder similar to the jaundice, and takes 
place with sonic infants a few days after their birth; it 
is known by a yellow tinge of the skin, high colored 
urine, and q constant desire to sleep. This simple 






484 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

complaint can be removed by a gentle puke of one or 
two grains of ipecacuanha, mixed with a little warm 
water, and in a short time followed by some mild 
purge, 



THRUSH. 

The thrush or sore mouth, is a very common disease 
in early infancy. The child suffers a great deal of pain 
in sucking, and frequently this complaint is attended 
with some fever. This disorder appears in small white 
spots on the tongue, corners of the lips, and inside the 
cheeks, and by degrees spreading itself over the whole 
inside of the mouth and throat; and, in some cases, 
extending down through the stomach and navel. If 
the white spots on the tongue resemble coagulated milk, 
or in other words, look as if the child had been eating 
curds, and that some of them remained sticking on the 
tongue, you will know by this appearance, that the 
thrush or sore mouth is commencing. The thrush is 
produced from acidities in the stomach and bowels, 
occasioned from some particular quality of the milk, 
which disagrees with the infant, or from improper food. 
Those children who are raised by hand, are more sub- 
ject to this complaint, which shows plainly, that it is 
the food which disagrees with the stomach and bowels, 
and brings on the thrush or sore mouth. The reme- 
dies are then very plain and simple; attend to the 
stomach and bowels first, before you use any astringent 
washes; after which it will be proper to use a wash 
for the mouth, made of a little borax, honey, and alum, 
dissolved or mixed in a small quantity of sage tea. 
Then, with a rag tied to a stick, rub or wash the mouth 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 485 

with this preparation, two or three times a day; regu- 
larly perserving in washing, while any appearance of 
the disease remains. To regulate the stomach and 
bowels, give equal quantities of magnesia and rhubarb: 
for doses of either of these medicines, refer to the 
table, 



CONSTIPATION. 

Constipation means costiveness, or being bound in 
the body, so that the infant cannot pass its stools. This 
complaint is sometimes hereditary, or natural to the 
child ; when this is the case, and it does not exceed 
proper bounds, it may not require the use of any rem- 
edy ; but should the infant's health begin to suffer, from 
frequent attacks of colic, flatulence, &c. it should be 
strictly attended to, as it may produce convulsions or 
fits, inflammation of the bowels, or other diseases of a 
difficult and lingering nature, thereby establishing this 
costive habit of body for life. 

If the predisposition descended from a mother of the 
same habit, or in other words, if the mother herself is 
subject to being bound in her body, the child may be 
relieved for a short time, but it will again return. 
When this is the case, the mother, if possible, should 
change the quality of the milk, by being attentive to 
her diet, and to take occasionally some mild purge, 
which will alter the quality of her milk ; for this pur- 
pose there is no medicine superior, or more innocent 
than magnesia and cpsom salts, of equal quantities, 
mixed and ground very fine in a mortar. Of this take 
a tea-spoonful or two in a tumbler of cold water of a 
morning on an empthy stomach. When the constipa- 



486 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

tion originates from the child's food, it must be changed, 
and simple medicines given occasionally, to act as a 
mild purge, such as magnesia, rhubarb, manna, sweet 
oil, or castor oil ; either of these may be given ; for 
doses of either of these medicines, see table. But if 
the costiveness is obstinate, a little aloes pounded fine 
and mixed with honey or molasses, will procure a pas- 
sage or stool. Or you may give a laxative clyster, 
made of a little warm water, in which put a tea-spoon- 
ful of lard, and with a clyster pipe or syringe, throw or 
squirt it up the fundament. In administering clysters, 
you are to recollect, that they should not be given hot, 
but milk warm ; by giving them hot, you increase the 
disorder, and do serious injury to the child; this is a 
mistake which is often made, and the consequence both 
to children and grown persons, when clysters are given 
hot, is extremely dangerous. For directions as to 
clystering, look under that head. 



COLIC. 

Whenever the child cries, the general practice is to 
suckle it, or feed it, by which its little stomach is kept 
constantly loaded, and being unable to digest the food, 
colical pains, griping and purging are the consequen- 
ces. The suffering of the infant in such cases being 
very acute or painful, recourse is had to Batcman\s 
drops or Godfrey's cordial, and sometimes laudanum, 
or paregoric, all of which contain opium, and relieve 
the little sufferer for a short time; when the colic or 
griping again returns. 

"From my experience in the diseases of infants,' , 
says a distinguished writer in the New York Medical 



<.l WS DOMLSTIC >U UUiNi;. 187 

Inquirer, "1 am satisfied that these complaints, if not 
produced, are nevertheless cherished by the causes 
already mentioned. I have in my practice, been in the 
habit of administering ipecacuanha in the dose of one 
grain, so as to produce puking in imitation of that 
excited by nature; and I am happy in saying that in 
no instance did it fail to produce the desired effect; that 
in some obstinate cases, it has acted like a charm, and 
that the parents declared it must have contained opium. 

"In cases of griping, or violent pain in the bowels of 
infants, I have also found the application of the follow- 
ing anodyne plaster to the abdomen or belly, highly 
beneficial : 

"Take of gum plaster three drachms; camphor, 
half a drachm ; opium, twenty grains ; oil of anniseed, 
ten drops ; to be made in a plaster and spread on 'soft 
leather.' 

"Professors Meyer and Reich, of Berlin, employ as 
a principal remedy in cases of bowel complaints of 
children, one drachm, of the diluted muriatic acid, in 
three ounces of simple syrup, of which they direct a 
tea-spoonful to be given about every two hours." 

Colic generally takes place in early infancy, from the 
first six weeks, to the tenth or twelfth month ; and is 
easily known by the infant's suddenly screaming or 
crying, and at the same time drawing up its legs; if 
the complaint is severe, the child cannot urinate or 
make water. If the colic is slight, and arises from 
flatulence or wind, give one or two drops of pepper- 
mint, to which if necessary, you may add a drop or two 
of laudanum; at the same time expose the infant's belly 
to a warm lire, and rub it with the following mixture: — 
Take three table-spoonsful of spirits, in which camphor 
has been dissolved, add to this a tea-spoonful of lauda- 



488 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

mini, and bathe the child's belly with it. You will also 
find the application of warm salt, or bathing it in warm 
water, valuable remedies. 

When the colic originates from acidity, as may be 
known by the bowels not being bound, and the stools 
of a green color and sour smell, in addition to the 
above means, you should give occasionally a dose of 
magnesia: — see table for dose; this will correct the 
acidity, and assist the discharge of the offending mat- 
ter from the bowels. You will find the infusion of 
rhubarb, in small doses, given so as to keep the bowels 
gently open, whilst at the same time, it communicates 
tone to the stomach and bowels, and increases the 
peristaltic action. The infant must be kept warm, 
and a flannel be applied round the belly, which gives 
support to the muscles, and is a valuable assistant in 
diseased conditions of the intestinal canal. 



SORE EYES. 

Sore eyes are very apt to make their appearance a 
few days or weeks after the birth of the infant, which 
occasions it to be fretful and uneasy, and sometimes if 
neglected, may produce blemishes or blindness. It is 
often brought on by exposure of the infant to large 
fires, or the imprudent practice of holding it to a light- 
ed candle to keep it quiet. It is also caused by cold ; 
and when the eyes are sore at a more advanced age, it 
may be produced by cutting teeth. — The remedies are, 
to avoid cold, and exposure to too much light, particu- 
larly the fire; bathe the eyes three or four times a day 
in cold water, or make the following preparation, with 
which you are to bathe the infant's eyes frequently 



CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 489 

through the day: about the size of a common pea of 
sugar of lead, dissolved in a pint of cold water. If 
this should not relieve it, give it a purge of castor oil. 
The application of the lead water as mentioned, is gen- 
erally successful, and a valuable remedy. 



TEETHING. 

Children suffer a great many complaints, during the 
time of cutting teeth. Some infants suffer much less 
than others ; but all seem, during this necessary opera- 
tion, to undergo pain and a disordered state of the sys- 
tem. 

The symptoms which go before and accompany the 
cutting of teeth are more or less violent, according to 
the manner in which the teeth come through the gum, 
or in other words, the resistance which the gum 
makes; and to the irritability of the infant's constitution, 

&,c. 

When the child cuts its teeth in the most easy manner, 
the pressure on the gums, however slight, gives pain, and 
produces an increased flow of the fluids furnished by 
the mouth ; the child is fretful and restless during the 
night, is constantly putting its little hands or any thing 
that it can get hold of, into its mouth. The spittle 
which it is constantly discharging or slobbering from 
the mouth, when swallowed, produces sickness, gripes 
and looseness; after a short time, the corner of a tooth 
is perceived ; but the pain and uneasiness still continue 
for several days, when a second tooth is cut. 

Durin^ the time between the cutting of the lower and 
upper teeth, the child generally improves in health and 
strength ; but in a short time is again subjected to the 

62 



490 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

same uneasiness. In strong, healthy, or fat children, a 
fever generally, and that sometimes violent, comes on 
before, or about the time of cutting every tooth; the 
gums are swelled and inflamed, the eyes much disor- 
dered, the belly bound, the skin hot, and the child cries 
constantly, and sucks with much pain; sometimes it is 
unable to suck, and its sleep is very much disturbed. 
Weakly and delicate children, where teething is painful 
and difficult, lose their color, fret constantly, vomit or 
puke frequently, attended with looseness or purging, and 
become quite emaciated, or in other words reduced to 
great weakness. I have discovered that those children 
I have last mentioned, pass through the painful and dan* 
gerous process of teething, much easier, and with 
greater safety than those who are fat and robust; and 
have particularly remarked, that those children who 
slaver, (vulgarly called slobber) most, cut their teeth 
with the greatest ease. 

The treatment during teething, should be a particular 
attention to the bowels, by keeping them sufficiently 
open; always paying due attention to every circumstance 
likely to promote the general health of the child, such 
as pure air, exercise, strict cleanliness, food easily diges- 
ted in the stomach, and taken in small quantities. As 
the difficulties sometimes are greatly lessened and fre- 
quently entirely prevented, by a looseness coming on 
spontaneously, or more plainly speaking, of its own 
accord, it must not be checked, particularly in children 
of a fat or full habit, but permitted to go on, unless it 
weakens the infant too much, or runs to excess, when it 
may be stopped by degrees. But if the child is bound 
in its body, you will recollect that it should take some 
laxative purge, so as to produce two or three stools 
daily; for this purpose, give two grains of calomel, to 



C INN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 491 

which add three or four grains of rhubarb or magne- 
sia. If necessary, the operations of this medicine may 
be assisted by clysters — for directions &c. as to clys- 
tering, look under that head. When fulness and quick- 
ness of the pulse, increase of heat, flushed face, frequent 
startings, oppressed breathing, immoderate fits of cry- 
ing, &c. denote fever; the irritation of the gums must 
be removed, which is done by cutting or lancing the 
gum down to the teeth, for which purpose, a gum lancet 
must be made use of 



CONVULSIONS OR FITS. 

Convulsions or fits, are at all times alarming and 
dangerous, and require a very great variety of treat- 
ment: therefore procure in such cases, a skilful physi- 
cian. But as these fits are frequently very sudden, I 
shall direct the means which may be used before a phy- 
sician can be obtained, and I will make some observa- 
tions as to the general causes which produce them. It 
is not unfrcquently the case, for convulsions or fits, to 
come on suddenly, in others, the attack is gradual, and 
the symptoms so slight as to pass unobserved by the 
mother or nurse. In the former, the child, from being 
in the most perfect health, turns of a purple color, the 
features and eyes are changed, and the whole frame is 
violently convulsed or agitated. In a short time these 
symptoms are followed by faintings, or medically speak- 
ing, by a suspension of the vital powers; after which, 
the child gradually recovers ; but for some time remains 
stupid and drowsy. In the latter cases, the infant 
shows uneasiness, changes color suddenly and fre- 
quently, the lips quiver, the eyes are turned upwards, 



492 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and it stretches out, the hands become clenched, when 
the convulsion or fit comes on. 

Fits are apt to be produced by any thing which affects 
the whole nervous system, or that which produces irri- 
tation of any particular nerve ; and by the sudden 
striking in of any eruptive disease, such as the measles, 
or any complaint which breaks out on the skin ; from 
improper food, or irritating substances applied to the 
stomach or bowels will produce this disorder. These 
convulsions frequently occur during the period of teeth- 
ing ; but I have found from particular attention to the 
causes which produce convulsions or fits, that worms 
are very often the cause of this complaint. But if they 
take place frequently, and with great violence, occa- 
sioned from pressure on the brain, or any cause in that 
organ, they generally terminate fatally, or cause the 
child as he advances in years, to become foolish. 

The treatment of convulsions or fits must depend on 
the cause which produces them. If the sudden striking 
in of any complaint, as the rash, measles, &c. or the 
drying up of any eruption or discharge on the body, it 
ought to be brought out by putting the child into a warm 
bath, then giving a dose of Godfrey's cordial or Bate- 
man's drops, so as to produce to the surface, the com- 
plaint; if indigestion or improper food has occasioned 
it, give a gentle emetic or puke of ipecacuanha, or 
emetic tartar — see table for dose. If the bowels are 
stopped, or the fits are supposed to arise from irritating 
matter of any kind in the body, it must be removed by 
purgative medicines, as two grains of calomel, mixed 
with five grains of rhubarb or jalap, which if neces- 
sary, assist with a clyster — for the method of preparing 
and administering a clyster, read under that head ; — 
but if produced by teething, then scarify the gums, or 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 493 

in other words, cut them down with a lancet immedi- 
ately over the; tooth this operation ought to be per- 
formed daily, until the tooth is through the gum, or the 
fits cease. 

When worms are suspected to be the cause from 
which the convulsions or fits are produced, the reme- 
dies recommended under that head must be employed. 



CROUP. 

This is a very dangerous complaint, and the rapidity 
with which it proceeds, requires prompt and immediate 
attention, or the disorder will prove fatal in a short time. 
Of all the diseases to which children are liable, croup 
is certainly the most dangerous. Every mother should 
understand the symptoms and treatment of this disease ; 
as in many instances, before a physician can possibly 
be obtained, suffocation is the consequence. The croup 
comes on with a difficulty of breathing and wheezing, 
a short, dry cough, and a rattling in the throat when 
asleep. In a short time the difficulty of breathing 
increases, the face of the child is flushed, and the veins 
in the neck are very full of blood, and throb or beat 
very fast. The voice and coughing has a strange sharp 
sound, something like the crowing of a young cock ; the 
child is very restless and uneasy, the body is hot, and 
attended by great thirst, and the pulse very quick. 
Those in whom the face is much flushed, seem over- 
powered by a heavy sleep, from which they are roused 
only by the violent fits of coughing. As the disease 
continues, the fits of coughing return more frequently, 
and are attended with an uncommon degree of agita- 
tion throughout the whole frame; the breathing becomes 



494 gunn's domestic medicine. 

more and more noisy; and unless relief is speedily 
obtained, the infant will die by suffocation. 

The remedy is an emetic, or puke. The moment the 
complaint is discovered, put six grains of emetic tartar 
into six table-spoonsful of warm water, and give the 
child about half a table-spoonful every ten or fifteen 
minutes. The intention is, to keep up a constant sick- 
ness and vomiting or puking. But if it is a violent case, 
you are to bleed it from the arm, and put it up to its 
neck in warm water. But recollect you are to keep up 
the sickness at the stomach, and puke it freely. I have 
frequently, when the croup was severe, kept the child 
puking occasionally, through the whole night, and using 
now and then, the warm bath, before relief could be 
given. In this complaint you will find the seneka snake 
root a valuable remedy; it must be given to the child 
frequently, made into a strong tea. After using the 
remedies I have already described, without success, 
and the disease is desperate, the best remedy is calo- 
mel, in doses of from forty to fifty grains. Do not be 
alarmed at this dose. I know by experience, in a hun- 
dred instances of the lives of children being preserved 
by large doses of calomel, which must otherwise have 
proved fatal. Then let me urge upon you the necessity 
of laying aside your prejudices against this medicine, 
and not to slacken your hand in this trying moment, if 
you wish to preserve the infant. So powerful and salu- 
tary is this medicine, that it frequently relieves the 
complaint in ten or fifteen minutes, without recourse to 
any other means. It acts on the stomach, bowels, and 
skin. Smaller doses may be given where the complaint 
is not very alarming; when given in smaller doses, you 
may add a little ipecacuanha, say two or three grains 
with the calomel, from which much benefit will be 
derived. 



UUJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 495 

The following simple remedy is highly recommended 
by Doctor John D. Goodman, an eminent physician of 
Charlottesville, Virginia. The simplicity of the reme- 
dy, and the facility of its application, entitle it to a 
trial. 

"Whenever children are threatened with an attack 
of croup, I direct [says the doctor,] a plaster covered 
with dry Scotch snuff, varying in size according to the 
age of the patient, to be applied directly across the top 
of the chest, and retained there till all the symptoms 
disappear. The remedy is found to be always effectu- 
al when applied to the first and second stages of the 
malady. This mode of treatment was from prejudice, 
neglected by me, and in one instance, in which, with 
very considerable difficulty, one of my children was 
rescued by the ordinary treatment. But on being 
urged to make a trial of the snuff plaster, I determined 
to make the experiment, whenever opportunity present- 
ed. This was not long wanting ; and when called to a 
child laboring under ail the symptoms of the early stage 
of croup, such a plaster, made by greasing a piece of 
linen, and covering it well with snuff, was directed to 
be applied to the chest. The event was most happy, 
the symptoms of irritation, and half crouping cough, 
ceased shortly after; the child fell into a profound 
sleep, with gentle perspiration, and by the next morning, 
was free from all distressing symptoms. The plaster 
was re-applied for a night or two following, and then 
discontinued. Since that time, my family has been 
saved from a great deal of anxiety and alarm, to which 
previously they were subject, as we were obliged to 
keep Coxe's hive syrup, tartar emetic, and all other 
articles resorted to, constantly ready to meet the attacks 
of the croup, which were very sudden and frequent in 



496 gunn's domestic medicine. 

cold wet seasons. Since then we have found nothing 
necessary but the snuff plaster. If a child is heard to 
breathe hoarsely, or cough with any thing of the dread- 
ful ringing sound of croup, it is only necessary to apply 
the snuff plaster, and we feel under no further anxiety. 
Instead of being obliged to watch with the child all 
the rest of the night, when once the snuff is applied, 
we go to rest again, with a feeling of entire security, 
which we have never had the least cause to regret." 



FEVER OF CHILDREN. 

The various complaints to which children are sub- 
ject, being, as I have before mentioned, of an irritative 
nature, will generally produce fevers, and although 
severe while they continue, are not frequently produc- 
tive of danger if properly managed. 

A disordered state of the stomach and bowels, teeth- 
ing, exposure to cold, striking in of any eruption, and 
in short, every thing which can excite an increased 
action in the heart and blood vessels, will produce more 
or less fever. The treatment of these complaints has 
already been described. When these fevers take 
place, cleansing the stomach and bowels will be pro- 
per, for which purpose, give an emetic, or puke, follow- 
ed by two or three grains of calomel, to which add 
four, five, or six grains of rhubarb: — for the dose of 
either of these medicines, see table; after which, Bate- 
man's drops, Godfrey's cordial, or paregoric, at the 
same time bathing the child in warm water, will greatly 
assist in lessening the irritability of the system, and 
removing the fever. 



<;UNN»S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. -197 

SCALD HEAD. 

Tins complaint begins in brownish spots on the 
bead, and in a few days forms a scab, and discharges 
a thick gluey matter, that sticks amongst the hair. 
The sores gradually increase, until the whole head is 
covered with a scab, discharging this matter, which is 
very offensive. You are to cut off the hair as close as 
possible, and wash the head well every night and 
morning with fresh lime water. This is easily prepar- 
ed, by slacking a piece of quick lime, of the size of a 
hen's egg, in a quart of water, and when settled, pour 
the liquor into a bottle and keep it corked for use. 



CHOLERA INFANTUM OR PUKING AND 
PURGING. 

This vomiting and purging of children, called by 
physicians, cholera infantum, prevails during the heats 
of summer; it is a dangerous and destructive disorder 
throughout the United States. Of all the complaints 
with which childhood becomes afflicted in its earlier 
stages, this is, at least amongst the infantile population 
of the western country, the most destructive. When 
this disease commences, it is very rapid in spreading 
itself through the section of country or neighborhood 
in which it first makes its appearance. Its desolation 
or fatal termination depends very much upon the sea- 
son, section of country, and slate of the atmosphere. 
This disorder generally shows itself before the middle 
of June, or about the commencement of our summer 
months, continuing its ravages through the warm sea- 
son, gradually lessening in violence as the cool weather 

approaches. Its frequency and danger are always in 

63 



498 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

proportion to the heat of the weather; children are 
subject to it from the third week after birth, to the 
second summer, at which period it is the most fatal to 
them. 

Many distinguished physicians have been disposed 
to consider teething as the cause of this complaint. I 
am, however, convinced, that this is not the cause of 
cholera infantum, or puking and purging. Yet, in 
children laboring under the irritation of cutting teeth, 
I have no doubt this complaint is much more severe 
than it otherwise would be, and that it is more easily 
taken by them, and that the disorder is more apt to be 
fatal in its consequences, I admit. But that it is brought 
about by the causes which I have before mentioned, 
will be admitted by every physician who has taken the 
trouble to investigate, or, in other words, to search out 
the original causes of this disease. 

As I have before told you, the digestive organs in 
the early stages of childhood, are liable to constant 
irregularities and irritations; but what excites morbid 
irritations in the intestinal canal, is perhaps difficult for 
the most learned of the profession, at the present day, 
to determine. Yet, whatever influence the irregulari- 
ties of diet, teething, or other complaints, may have in 
producing this disorder, I am assured from long expe- 
rience, that the violent heats of summer, together with 
sudden changes, or exposure to a moist and unhealthy 
state of the atmosphere, are the usual exciting causes 
of cholera infantum, or puking and purging. 
SYMPTOMS. 

This disorder commences generally with a purging, 
but when severe, the child is seized with a puking and 
purging at the same time, when a few moments before 
it appeared in the enjoyment of full health. The dis- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



499 



charge, or stool is highly offensive, and colored, with a 
dark or yellow hue; the stools now become frequent, 
attended with severe griping; probably the motions 
will be as often as fifteen or twenty times during the 
twenty-four hours. So soon as the operation com- 
mences freely from the bowels, the vomiting or puking 
begins to cease ; over the region of the stomach the 
slightest pressure will give pain, being very tender, and 
probably swelled ; tongue white, thirst great, a constant 
craving for water between the times of purging, which 
cannot be satisfied. The skin becomes dry, and from 
the child falling away, which it does with great rapidi- 
ty, the skin is very much shrunk on the inside of the 
thighs; and while the feet are cold, the head and belly 
are hot ; pulse small and quick, sometimes full ; gener- 
ally towards evening the child is better, but after a short 
time the purging commences again. Countenance 
pale, wan, and languid ; eyes sunk and dull ; the child 
moans and sighs much; cannot sleep, is excessively 
irritable, sometimes attempting to bite its nurse, or 
rolling about its head, or constantly putting up its hands 
to its face; the stools become bloody. Even water 
itself will produce purging. The least jar or irregular 
motion gives it pain ; noise and light cannot be endur- 
ed. It will scream on barely being touched. The 
gums are black and swelled ; the lips or their edges are 
filled with a dark scurf; inflammation takes place ; the 
breathing becomes hurried and laborious; the pulse 
quick, weak, and irregular, and death closes the suffer- 
ings of one of the most painful and distressing diseases. 
REMEDIES. 
When this complaint is about to make its appear- 
ance — which you will know by a purging, a white 
tongue, skin dry and hot, slight fever, attended with 



MHi <; INN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

gripings, and occasionally accompanied with cramps of 
the abdominal and other muscles — nothing is of greater 
service than a gentle emetic in the morning, followed 
by a dose of calomel, mixed with a small quantity of 
ipecacuanha, at night For doses medicine see table. 
The emetic not only cleanses the stomach, but produ- 
ces a soft moist state of the skin. The colomel and 
the ipecacuanha as I have described, will greatly lessen 
the severity of the disease, and not unfrequently entire- 
ly check it. But should there continue looseness of 
the bowels, with a dry skin and wakefulness, you are 
to obtain, at a doctor's shop, a phial of wine of ipe- 
cacuanha—which is nothing more than the ipecacuanha 
steeped or mixed in wine — of this medicine, give the 
child a few drops through the day, in a little warm 
tea of any kind : this will produce a gentle moisture, or 
in other words, a moist sweat. At night, give a dose 
of paregoric. For dose of this, or any other medicine, 
refer to the table. The warm bath, that is, bathing the 
whole body of the child once or twice a day in warm 
water, will be found a valuable remedy, and greatly 
assist in the cure. Many children have entirely esca- 
ped this dangerous complaint by using daily the warm 
bath. By following the directions I have laid down, in 
a great many cases, the complaint will be so relieved 
as to render the further use of medicine unnecessary. 

When the remedies which I have mentioned, fail, 
which is sometimes the case, give occasionally a dose 
of calomel, to which add a little ipecacuanha. As soon 
as the medicine has purged the child— or in other 
words, it has had three or four stools — you are to give 
a little paregoric, in which put a few drops of the wine 
of ipecacuanha. This moderates the operation of the 
purge and brings on a gentle moisture, or sweat of the 



GUNNS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 501 

skin. You will find great benefit from covering the 
child's belly with carded cotton, over which you are to 
put a broad bandage, drawn moderately tight. The 
cotton thus borne, will check the purging. Should the 
child be teething when it takes this complaint, immedi- 
ate attention ought to be paid to the gums, and cut, if 
necessary, when the teeth cannot pass through them. 
If the emetic or puke which I have directed, should hap- 
pen to act too severely, you can easily stop it by giving a 
dose of paregoric or laudanum, in a little tea made of cin- 
namon. So distressing in some cases are the effects of 
the vomiting or puking — not from the emetic, but from 
the disorder itself— that you will be under the necessity 
of seeking means to check it; for this purpose there is 
nothing better than weak lime water and new milk, in 
which put a few drops of laudanum or paregoric, or 
apply green peach-tree leaves, beat up, over the stomach 
and the breast — this is a valuable application for put- 
ting a stop to bilious vomiting: sulphuric ether is also a 
good remedy. If these, however, should fail in remo- 
ving the vomiting or puking, a blister applied over the 
pit of the stomach will scarcely ever fail. This last 
remedy should not be applied until a fair trial is given 
those which precede it. 



WHOOPING COUGH. 

Tins complaint occurs only once during life, and is 
contagious, or catching. It prevails in the western 
country during the winter and spring months, and its 
being mild or severe, depends very much on the atmos- 
phere. When the winter and spring are extremely cold 



502 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and wet, the whooping cough is generally severe, but on 
the contrary, it appears under a much milder form. 

Symptoms. — Whooping cough commences like a 
common cold, and as it gradually advances, the breath- 
ing becomes more hurried and difficult, the voice hoarse, 
attended with cough; great thirst; after a few days, a 
strange whooping sound is made whenever the child 
draws a long breath, followed immediately by the 
cough. The agitation of the whole system is such at 
this moment, that the child lays hold of whatever is 
nearest, in order to support himself during the fit of 
coughing; after which he pukes or spits up a tough, 
frothy, slimy mucus, and is for a short time relieved. 

The treatment is quite simple: — when you discover 
the child to have taken it, give instantly an emetic, or 
puke, of antimonial wine — see table for dose; — and 
should this puke not lessen the severity of the complaint, 
you are to give a second, and if necessary, a third ; if 
bound in its body, a dose of castor oil. To lessen the 
cough, give frequently the juice of garlic sweetened 
with honey, or a tea-spoonful of sweet oil, to which you 
may add a few drops of paregoric or laudanum. 

The whooping cough is generally most severe during 
night: to allay or ease the cough, the use of paregoric 
or laudanum will be highly necessary — for doses see 
table. I have found great benefit in my practice by 
using in this complaint the tincture of assafcetida — 
which is nothing more than a small lump of assafcetida 
steeped for a few days in a little whiskey, or any kind 
of spirits — of this tincture you are to give a few drops 
whenever the cough is severe, and you will find it to 
allay the irritation of the system, and mitigate or calm 
the cough. 



OUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 503 

Doctor Robertson, in the January number of the 
London Medical Repository, states that, of all the 
remedies he has ever employed in whooping cough, 
friction — which means rubbing — on the region of the 
stomach with the tartarised ointment, has been the most 
undeviatingly useful: for as soon as the pimples begin to 
appear on the breast, the disorder begins to abate. 
This ointment is nothing more than emetic tartar 
mixed with a little hog's lard. For a description 
how to prepare it, look under the head "tartarised 
ointment." 



MEASLES. 

The measles generally make their appearance in the 
spring season. It is a contagious, or catching disorder, 
and like the whooping cough, attacks but once during 
life. 

Symptoms. — For a few days before they break out 
on the body, the child complains of sickness; seems 
dull and heavy; very great thirst; short, dry cough, 
with frequent sneezing, as if laboring under a severe 
cold ; the eyes look red, and much inflamed. On the 
fourth day, the eruptions, or red pimples — which resem- 
ble flea-bites — make their appearance on the face and 
neck, which soon extend to the breast, and then cover 
the whole body. In three or four days they begin to 
go off; at the same time, the fever which always accom- 
panies the measles, begins gradually to decline. In 
some cases, the fever and cough will continue without 
lessening in their violence for several days or a week 
after the measles have entirely disappeared. 



504 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

REMEDIES. 

As soon as the sickness or drowsiness is observed, 
and you have cause to apprehend, from the symptoms I 
have already described that your child is about to take 
the measles, open the bowels by castor oil, so as to pro- 
cure two or three stools: the next evening — for it is at 
this time the fever is at the highest — give a gentle 
vomit, or puke, of antimonial wine. You will find, by 
giving gentle pukes, that the child will be greatly reliev- 
ed, by lessening the fever and oppression — this being the 
cause of the drowsiness and stupor. If the vomit 
should both puke and purge, so much the better, for the 
child will be the sooner relieved. When the fever and 
cough continue for a few days after the measles have 
entirely disappeared, a dose of castor oil will be proper, 
and which should be occasionally given during its con- 
tinuance. About this time, there is a dark and offensive 
matter remains in the bowels that produces this fever, 
and which ought and must be removed by means of 
these gentle purges. You will always know if the fever 
continues, by the dullness, thirst, and want of appetite. 
Sometimes the measles and whooping cough attack the 
child at the same time: when this is the case, a physi- 
cian should be immediately called, as there is consid- 
erable danger. 

The diet in this complaint ought to be low; such as 
mush and boiled milk, chicken soup, &c. Nothing to 
be taken cold or hot, but moderately warm. Exposure 
to cold or damp must be avoided, or the disorder may 
strike in, which would be very dangerous. Let the 
child be kept in a room neither hot nor cold, but of a 
pleasant temperature. And you are to recollect that 
spirituous liquors of any kind, administered in any way, 



GUIS'N'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 505 

is highly improper. Bleeding is sometimes necessary 
when the inflammatory symptoms run high, or the cough 
is very severe; but it ought always to be performed, if 
possible, under the advice of a physician. Blisters 
applied between the shoulders or on the sides, will abate 
the cough, and may be safely used at any time during 
the complaint. 



WORMS. 

The worms which infest the human body are — the 
long round worm, the maw, or thread worm, the tape, or 
long joint worm, and the fluke worm. The long round 
worm is called by the physicians, the ascaris lumbri- 
coides, deriving its name from its slipperiness. It has 
three nipples at its head, and a triangular mouth in its 
middle. Its length is from four to twelve inches, and 
its thickness, when at its largest size, about that of a 
common goose-quill. The body is furrowed on each 
side, and the tail somewhat blunt. This worm is quite 
common in children, and not unfrequently it crawls out 
at the mouth. It is generally of a milky, brownish, or 
ash color. 

The maw or thread worm — called by physicians 
ascaris vermicularis — has a blunt head; the tail of 
the male is blunt, but that of the female quite sharp and 
winding. It is generally from two to four inches long, 
quite small, about the size of a small thread, of a white 
color, and very elastic or springy. 

This worm is generally found in the straight gut, or 
fundament — most commonly in children, but not unfre- 
quentlv it is met with in grown persons also. They are 
frequently found in the intestines, or guts, in the form 



506 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

of a ball so completely covered with a slimy mucus, as 
to prevent the medicines which are usually given for 
worms, from acting — or in other words — causing their 
discharge by stool. In women, they sometimes escape 
into the vagina, or womb, and thence into the urethra, 
or canal through which the urine passes — and they are 
also found in the intestines of children. 

The long thread worm — called, medically speaking, 
tricocephalus dispar — is from an inch and a half to 
two inches long — of a clear white ; the head is sharp ; 
the body of the male is constantly in motion, in a curved 
or winding form. The female is straight, with a blunt 
head and sharp tail ; they contain a brown matter, and 
generally inhabit the large intestines. 

The long tape worm — called by medical men taenia 
solium — is from one to six hundred feet in length: it is 
gifted with the power to contract or enlarge its diameter: 
that is, to draw up or increase its size at pleasure. It 
rolls itself into a round form, and falls from one side of 
the stomach to the other on turning, when in a recum- 
bent or lying position. When cramped by the position 
of the patient, or by hard pressure over the belly, or 
disturbed by food which does not agree with it, by 
medicine, or some disease proper to it, or tormented by 
the approach of death, it leaves its hold, leaps about and 
falls, as it were, into convulsions or fits. 

The broad tape worm — called, medically, bothrio- 
cephalus latus — the head is longer than it is broad ; 
scarcely any neck. Its body is flat; generally, from 
ten to twenty feet long, and at its broadest part, from a 
quarter to a half an inch across, and of a white color. 

The fluke worm is about an inch long, and of a dirty 
yellowish, greenish or brownish color; you will know it 
by examining the worm which infests the livers of ani- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 507 

mals, as the sheep, the hog, the goat, &c. being the 
same worm. 

It is extremely difficult to say what are the original 
causes which produce worms. It is therefore impossi- 
ble that any physician, however learned he may be, can 
determine with any kind of certainty, their origin. 
That improper diet or food, assists in producing worms, 
is correct ; but it is only true so far as this improper food 
deranges the action of the stomach and bowels, and 
weakens their action ; for worms seldom occur if the 
action of the bowels is healthy, strong and vigorous. 
"Few infants have worms until they are weaned, which 
is to be accounted for on the principle, that the bowels 
are in better order during suckling than afterwards, 
when the diet is more varied and indigestible." 

To the learned and distinguished Robley Dunglisom 
Professor of the Practice of Medicine in the University 
of Virginia, I am indebted for the highly valuable infor- 
mation on this subject. 

Climate, infancy, weakened state of the bowels, and 
improper food, favor the production of worms. That 
climate has a particular influence, and is favorable to 
the origin of certain worms, is evident. A fourth part 
of the inhabitants of Grand Cairo have the tape worm ; 
and in Holland — according to Rosen — it is quite com- 
mon. In the United States it is quite rare. 
SYMPTOMS. 

The head is generally affected ; the face is pale, and 
sometimes of the color of bees- wax ; the lower eye lid 
becomes of a leaden color; itching is felt in the nose, 
occasionally picking it ; the saliva, or spittle runs down 
over the pillow during sleep; the breath has a remar- 
kable bad fetor, or bad smell; frightful dreams; the 
child cries in its sleep and awakes with great terror; 



508 CUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

itching about the navel; creeping or tearing pain in 
the belly, or a pricking and gnawing about the stomach ; 
constant hunger, and yet the system becomes weak; 
frequent itching of the fundament ; frequent dry cough, 
with tickling in the throat, accompanied with slow fe- 
ver; these symptoms, singly or together, denote the 
presence of worms. 

REMEDIES. 

A great many medicines are daily employed for 
worms. From long experience, and an extensive prac- 
tice, I have had a fair opportunity of testing their 
virtues, at the head of which stands calomel, worm- 
seed oil, Carolina pink root — sometimes called Indian 
pink root, or pink root — and spirits of turpentine ; all of 
which, when properly given, are valuable medicines for 
expelling worms. 

You are first to commence by giving the child a 
suitable dose of calomel ; — for which see table of med- 
icines. You are occasionally to repeat this medicine 
as long as the stools have a very offensive smell; and 
look unnatural! On the days between the administer- 
ing the calomel, give the child a little aloes, pounded 
very fine, and mixed with honey. — For dose see table. 
"I have never known a case of failure," says a distin- 
guished physician, "when the patient, or child was 
freely purged with calomel, and then given either the 
worm-seed oil, agreeably to the directions on the phials 
in which it is sold, or the Indian pink root in tea." 
For a description of this root look under the head Car- 
olina pink root. The oil should be given on an empty 
stomach in the morning, on a lump of sugar, and when 
the pink root is used make tea of it, by pouring a 
quart of boiling water on a handful of the roots, of 
which you are to give a cupful night and morning to 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 509 

the child ; and to cause him to take it more readily, 
you may add milk and sugar: by this means children 
will take it as soon as any other tea. Sometimes the 
pink root will occasion the eyes to become sore ; when 
this is the case, you are to stop using it until the eyes 
are perfectly well; this is produced, as is supposed, 
from some other root which grows with the pink root, 
and is frequently gathered with jt. After using the 
pink root for a week or ten days, give a dose of calo- 
mel or castor oil. In those species of worm which I 
have described as uncommon in our country, their ex- 
pulsion, or discharge is produced by spirits of turpen- 
tine, in large doses, requiring the advice and atten- 
dance of a physician. 

Mr. Cloquet, a distinguished physician of France, 
affirms, that he has seen the long worm, or the one to 
which children are most subject, evacuated, or dis- 
charged by stool, after the belly had been rubbed with 
a mixture of ox's gall and common soap, oil of tansey 
or of camomile, mixed with spirits in which camphor 
has been dissolved, or garlic ; and by the application 
of a plaster composed of common yellow wax, lithar- 
age, assafoetida, and galbanum, applied to the belly. 

Pure air, simple digestible food, exercise, and the 
use of all those means by which the system is strength- 
ened, should be attended to ; otherwise as soon as they 
are expelled, they will again return. For this purpose 
occasionally administer to the child or person subject 
to worms, a simple dose of charcoal in new milk. 
According to the latest and most enlightened experience 
of the Medical Schools in Europe, charcoal is highly 
recommended. 



DESCRIPTION OF MEDICINES. 



REMARKS. 

I have now given a full and general description, of 
the important diseases to which the human body is 
liable, and of the various remedies to be used in their 
cure. I shall now proceed to describe, as far as prac- 
ticable, all the valuable roots, plants, and so on, possi- 
ble to be included in the work. I have observed in 
several books, purporting to have been written for the 
use of families, descriptions of many plants and roots, 
merely calculated to fill up and increase the size of 
such works, without being of any benefit as medicines, 
or even affording any useful information to the reader. 
I shall therefore, mention only such as are truly useful 
as medicines, and whose virtues are highly important 
in the cure of diseases. 



SENEKA SNAKE ROOT. 

This root possesses more virtues than any one used 
in medicine ; and of all the roots used in medicine it is 
by far the most valuable. It is now more than eighty 
years, since its virtues were made known by physicians, 
by Doctor John Tenant, who learned its use from the 
Senagaroes tribe of Indians. By rewarding them 
liberally, he obtained their secret remedy against the 
bite of the rattle-snake, which he called snake root on 



oUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 511 

that account. According to their practice, it was ap- 
plied both outwardly and inwardly; either chewed and 
applied to the wound, or in the form of poultice. Doct. 
Tenant thought the Seneka a certain remedy against 
the bite of the rattle-snake, but it has since been doubt- 
ed. A reward was given to the doctor for this dis- 
covery, by the legislature of Pennsylvania. The 
Seneka was recommended by him, to be used in pluri- 
sy; and in this disease it is a truly valuable remedy, 
after the free use of the lancet and the warm bath. Sir 
Francis Millman, Doctor Percival, and many other 
distinguished physicians, have borne testimony in favor 
of its powers as a diuretic in dropsies — diuretic means 
whatever acts on the urinary organs, so as to produce 
an evacuation of the water from the bladder freely. In 
croup this is a valuable medicine: and the discovery of 
it being such, is due to Doctor Archer, of Hartford 
county, Maryland, who first discovered its great effica- 
cy in croup, that frequently unmanageable disease. 
My practice is, in the first instance to employ the lancet, 
in the next the warm bath, and in the next the Seneka 
snake root, as directed under the head of croup. Giv- 
en as a strong decoction, which is made by pouring on 
one or two ounces of the best root, coarsely pounded 
with a hammer, about a quart of boiling water, which 
is to be stewed down to half a pint or less, in a close 
vessel over a slow fire: — a tea-spoonful every hour, or 
indeed every twenty minutes to a child as the case may 
be dangerous or otherwise, will answer the effect in 
croup. It is of infinite service if it pukes the patient 
when given in this way; because it brings on a dis- 
charge of mucus or tough slime from the mouth and 
throat, which almost always relieves the person afflicted. 
It is proper, if the case is a dangerous one, to give a 






512 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

dose of calomel with the snake root, adding to the cal- 
omel a small portion of ipecacuanha; in fact, in this 
disease, when very dangerous, I give large doses of 
calomel when I resort to this remedy: in simple and 
gentle cases of croup, an emetic of ipecacuanha, and 
the warm bath, will frequently give relief. A strong tea 
made of this root, and given as in croup, is an excellent 
remedy for the hives, or for rheumatism of an inflam- 
matory nature; and in violent colds, it is an admirable 
medicine to promote perspiration or sweating. Used in 
these cases, the best form is that of a handful of the root 
to a quart of boiling water, giving a wine-glassful of the 
decoction every two hours, if a grown person, and 
increasing or lessening the quantity as may seem to be 
necessary. 

The virtues of this root, in obstructions, or stoppages 
of the menses or monthly discharges, are absolutely 
incalculable ; and every woman should return thanks to 
the author of all good, for giving such virtues to this 
root as are possessed, perhaps, by no other, in relieving 
this diseased state of the female system which, of all 
others, is probably the most dangerous. When the 
menstrual discharge is looked for and does not appear, 
four ounces of the decoction above described ought to 
be taken in the course of the day — indeed, as much 
ought to be taken as the stomach will bear without incon- 
venience. When sickness to puking is induced — which 
is sometimes the case when the stomach is weak or irri- 
table — add in the tea or decoction some cinnamon, or 
calamus, or angelica, or a little ginger; either of these 
in addition, will cause the stomach to retain the decoc- 
tion: there is no danger in the seneka snake root, for 
I have frequently given it in very large doses in croup. 
The only difficulty is, that it sometimes passes off by 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 513 

stool, without being productive of its usual benefits in 
female cases — the remedies for which will be spoken of 
under the proper heads. But in dropsy, this purgative 
effect of the seneka snake root is of great and impor- 
tant service, as well as in its active and powerful influ- 
ence on the urinary organs. In all dropsical swellings, 
it ought to be used very freely, and will always be 
found a medicine of high and inestimable value. I 
will close the notice of this great root, by observing 
that it has the confidence of the most distinguished 
physicians of the United States, as well as those of 
Europe. The discovery of its virtues in female ob- 
structions, is due to Dr. Hartshorn, of Philadelphia, one 
of the best of men, and whose heart is devoted to the 
cause of suffering humanity. 



SASSAFRAS. 

A particular description of sassafras is unnecessary, 
being known and found in every part of the western 
country. The root, bark, or flowers, made into a tea, 
is used considerably by the people in the country. It 
cleanses any impurities of the blood, and if distilled, 
affords a valuable oil, which is a good remedy in rheu- 
matism. It ought to be rubbed on the afflicted parts 
m small quantities: and if taken inwardly, a few drops 
are to be given on a lump of sugar, being highly stim- 
ulating. The oil rubbed on wens is considered a good 
remedy, and frequently removes them entirely. The 
sdssafras bark, mixed with saisaparilla, makes a good 

diet drink for cleansing impurities of the blood, &c. 

65 



514 GUNN'S domestic medicine. 

SARSAPARILLA. 

This root was first brought into notice by the Span- 
iards, in the year 1563, and was for some time after- 
wards, considered a certain cure for venereal diseases; 
[see page 346, where you will see venereal described.] 
It, however, afterwards proved unsuccessful, either for 
want of proper attention, or from want of knowledge 
how to treat the complaint. 

This little root has excited a great deal of inquiry 
and discussion among medical men, throughout Europe 
and the United States, as to whether it really is or is 
not, a cure for this wretched disease, the venereal. It 
has fallen several times into almost entire neglect, and 
as often been again revived into use. It has, however, 
lately been brought forward, with much higher reputa- 
tion than it ever held before, and if used in the manner 
I have described in venereal, may be relied on as a 
certain cure. Years of practical experience have con- 
vinced me of the fact, even in the worst of the com- 
plaint. I will go still further, by asserting that the 
virtues of this root, are not yet fully known and duly 
appreciated: and I sincerely regret, that the limits of 
my work will not permit me to go more fully into the 
great benefits I have witnessed from its use in chronic 
affections of the liver — for a description of which dis- 
ease, see page 241. 

In scrofulous sores, in all diseases of the skin, and 
for cleansing the blood, it will be found valuable. In 
rheumatism, gout, and to stop the effect of mercury, or 
to remove any bad consequences which have been pro- 
duced by its use, the sarsaparilla is also good. In 
weakness of the stomach called dyspepsia, [see that 
head.] it is an excellent remedy, by giving tone and 
strength to the bowels and stomach. The method of 



UUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 51 

preparing it, is by simply boiling, after washing it clean, 
in the proportions of an ounce of the root, split and 
finely cut up, to two quarts of water, which must be 
boiled down to one quart, and suffered to get cold be- 
fore it is taken. Take of it from a pint to a quart 
daily, or as much as the stomach will bear. The bark 
of the root contains the virtues. You must obtain it 
sound ; and recollect always, that it loses its powers by 
being kept any length of time. The tea should always 
be made fresh every day. Sarsaparilla grows plenti- 
fully in the western country, and may be found along 
creeks, and on the banks of rivers. It is a small run- 
ning vine when torn from the ground, and extends some 
distance from the head, which is of a dark brown 
color on the outside, and a pale white within. When 
cut into short pieces it splits easily, and has a very bit- 
ter taste. The main vine is about the size of a com- 
mon goose-quill. It is a native of the Spanish West 
Indies, from whence it was formerly imported, until 
discovered to be also a native of the United States. 
The imported root is not quite as large as ours, and is 
of a darker color and much wrinkled on the outside. 
It may be considered as one of the most valuable roots 
in the western country, and although possessing great 
power, is entirely innocent. It ought most certainly 
to be used, in all cases in which mercury has had any 
effects on the system, or in which there is the least 
doubt that any infection lurks in the system connected 
with venereal 



510 GITNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

JAMKSTOWN WEED. 

Sometimes called jimson, thorn-apple, stink-weed: 
and, by the learned, usually called datura stramoni- 
um. Whether this plant is a native of the United 
States or not, cannot at this late period be known ; nor 
is it material that the fact should be ascertained, be- 
cause it is now found in every part of the American 
Union, from the state of Maine, to the Mexican gulf, 
and from the Atlantic sea-board, to the Rocky, or Ore- 
gon mountains. It was first noticed by the original 
settlers of Virginia, at Jamestown, from which circum- 
stance, it took the name which I have adopted. Be- 
verly, who in very early times, wrote a history of the 
first settlement of Virginia, thus speaks of its effects on 
a party of British soldiers, who had eaten of the leaves 
of the Jamestown weed as boiled greens. "One would 
blow up a feather into the air, whilst another would 
dart straws at it with great fury; another would sit 
stark naked in a corner of the room, grinning like a 
monkey, and making mouths at the company; whilst 
another would caress and paw his companions, and 
•sneer in their faces. In this frantic condition they 
were confined, under the apprehension that they might 
destroy themselves, though it was observed that all 
their actions were those of innocence and good nature. 
They were by no means cleanly, and would have 
wallowed in their own excrements, had they not been 
prevented. After the lapse of ten or eleven days, their 
senses again returned, without their being able to re- 
member any thing that had occurred in the interim. " 
I will give for the satisfaction of my readers, some ac- 
count of the first discovery of the medical properties of 
the Jamestown weed, and also adduce several cases in 
proof of those medical properties, abridged from the 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 517 

account of Doctor Storck, whose authority may be 
relied on. 

"In the months of June, July and August, I observed 
in the neighborhood of Schcenbrun," says the doctor, 
"great quantities of the Datura Stramonium, or thorn- 
apple. I well knew that this plant was altogether out 
of use as a medicine, because several authors had pro- 
nounced it highly dangerous. On the 23d of June, 
1760, I went out very early in search of the weed, and 
gathered a large quantity of it, and resolved to give it 
a fair trial, notwithstanding all I had heard and read 
respecting its poisonous effects, and of its producing 
insanity or derangement of mind. I next cut off the 
roots and threw them aside; then beat the leaves, 
branches and stalks in a large marble mortar, and 
pressed out about one gallon of the juice. This I 
evaporated to the consistence of an extract, over a slow 
fire, in a glazed vessel, often stirring it with a wooden 
spoon to prevent its burning; and the extract, when it 
became cold, I found to be a black, brittle mass. I 
laid a grain and a half of this extract on my tongue, 
dissolved it against the roof of my mouth, and swal- 
lowed it down. It neither produced disorder of my 
body, nor the least derangement in my intellectual fac- 
ulties. After making several experiments on myself, 
and perceiving no manner of disorder, I concluded that 
the extract could be safely given to patients in small 
doses. We happened at that time to have a case in the 
hospital, in which it might be presumed this extract of 
thorn-apple, (which the reader will please to remember 
we call Jamestown weed,) would be of service. Before 
using it however, I consulted both ancient and modern 
writers, and all to no purpose. They had all laid it 
down in explicit terms, that it would disorder the mind. 



518 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

destroy the ideas and memory, and produce convul- 
sions. These were all dreadful effects: — but notwith- 
standing a query suggested itself to my mind in the fol- 
lowing form: "If the thorn-apple, by disordering the 
mind, causes madness in sound persons, may we not try 
whether by changing and disturbing the ideas and com- 
mon sensory, it might not bring the insane, and persons 
bereft of their reason, to sanity, or soundness of mind, 
and by a contrary motion, remove convulsions in the 
convulsed." This notion, I confess, was far-fetched, 
yet it was not without some good success. The experi- 
ments I made were as follow: 

" Case 1st. A girl aged twelve years, had been disor- 
dered in her mind two months ; she answered confusedly 
when asked any questions, and what words she did 
utter, were very imperfectly articulated. She was sul- 
len and refractory, and could be prevailed on by no 
means, to do any thing. All the medicines she had 
taken had produced no effect. I gave her half a grain 
of the extract morning and night, and made her drink 
after each dose, a cup of tea, or some veal broth. On 
the third week she began to be less sullen ; returned 
more rational answers, and spoke distinctly. In two 
months time — continuing the use of the same medicine, 
and giving three doses each day — she began to reason 
extremely well, and said her morning and evening pray- 
ers with a clear and distinct voice; gained a good 
memory, and gradually recovered her understanding. 

"Case 2d. A woman over forty years of age, was 
afflicted with vertigo, or dizziness of the head, and 
could find no relief from any medicines ; she became 
gradually disordered in her mind, and finally a degree 
of madness accompanied her vertigo. She was brought 
to our hospital. The medicines first prescribed gave 



t.\ NVS DOMfitffC «BDI01W& 4 &1Q 

her no manner of relict'. She began to be raving and 
furious; rose out of bed during the night, and by her 
bawling disturbed and frightened the other patients— 
some of whom she would forcibly pull out of bed. In 
this situation I gave her— says Dr. Storck— half a 
grain of the extract of thorn-apple twice a day. The 
first day she became more composed, but in the night 
she turned as furious as ever. The third day, I gave 
her one grain of the extract morning and evening, and 
all the symptoms became milder. She made some 
noise indeed, in the night, but soon fell asleep again. 
On the fourth day she began to give more reasonable 
answers, but soon fell again into raving fits. Her 
days and nights then became calm and quiet. On the 
eighth day, I gave her one grain of the extract three 
times, and continued these doses until the fourth week, 
when all her fury was laid. Her madness went off; 
soundness of mind, speech and judgment returned, and 
she slept as soundly as any of the other patients: yet 
tlie vertigo frequently and suddenly returned upon her 
as before, and at times with such violence as to make 
her fall down as if in a fit, but she always retained her 
presence of mind. It was enough for the purpose of 
my experiment, that the extract of the thorn-apple 
cured her madness; and perceiving that the vertigo was 
not removed, I forbore its further use. She lived five 
months in the hospital. All the functions of her mind 
were good and sound, but the vertigo turned gradually 
stronger, and the fits of it became more frequent, until 
at length a true lit of apoplexy carried her off. I dis- 
9ected her, and found many of the blood vessels of the 
head distended or swelled, and one of them turned 
bony for the distance of an inch and a half: besides 
which, says the doctor, I found the two anterior ventri- 



520 GUNN,S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

cles of the brain distended greatly, and hlled with many 
hydatids of all shapes and sizes. Hydatids arc little 
animals, formed like bladders, and distended with a 
watery fluid. All the viscera in the rest of the body, 
were in a very sound state. From these discoveries 
made after her death, it appears that the vertigo of this 
patient was an incurable disease ; and it also appears, 
that the extract of the thorn-apple, or Jamestown 
weed, not only allayed her rage, but cured her madness 
without producing any bad symptoms." 

I have accompanied the discovery of the medicinal 
virtues of the Jamestown weed by Dr. Storck, with the 
two preceding cases, to prove clearly to my readers, that 
in the beneficence of his mercy, the great Father of the 
Universe, has clothed our soil with means, and those 
means powerful ones, of curing our diseases, with 
which we are measurably acquainted and with the 
medical properties of which it is our duty to become 
familiar. There is, in my opinion, nearly as much 
folly and stupidity in importing costly drugs at enormous 
expenses from foreign lands, while we have their equals 
at home, as there would be in importing bricks and 
timber from Europe to construct our habitations. 
Industry and science alone can develope the immense 
resources of this unrivalled country, and these we are 
personally, morally, and politically bound to employ. 

Every part of the Jamestown weed, exclusive of the 
root — of which we know nothing by experiment — when 
taken in considerable portions, operates as a strong nar- 
cotic, or stupefying poison. This is, however, no valid 
objection to its medical uses and properties; because 
some of our most powerful medicines, such for instance 
as opium and aqua-fortis, invariably destroy life, when 
injudiciously taken. I am not alone in considering this 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 5*J1 

plum as possessing high and invaluable medicinal pow- 
ers ; it has been spoken of in terms of high commenda 
tion by many of the most distinguished physicians of 
the present age, among whom are Barton, Fisher, Bige- 
low, and King, of Connecticut. 

Among the Indian nations, the leaves of this weed 
are made much use of, especially in cases of wounds* 
contusions or bruises, ulcerations, and the bites of rep- 
tiles. The extract of this weed, procured in the manner 
above stated by Dr. Storck, is valuable in various cases 
of the chronic kind ; by which I mean those of long 
standing ; also in all those kinds of epilepsy, commonly 
called fits — those especially, which give warning of 
their coming on, or those which occur at regular times. 
It is also a better medicine than any thing yet known* 
for lessening the pain in sciatica, or hip gout. The 
leaves of the dried plant, smoked as we do tobacco, are 
of great use in attacks of spasmodic asthma — which 
means phthisic accompanied with cramp. In making 
use of this medicine internally, the dried and pounded 
leaves may be given in doses of a single grain. If the 
first dose produces no sickness or vomiting, you may 
give a grain of the leaves three times a day, and even 
increase the dose each time, until the effects are felt by 
the patient, or relief produced. The extract, however, 
is always to be preferred, given as before described by 
Dr. Storck, the real discoverer of the medicine. The 
bruised or wilted leaves are valuable in painful tumors, 
and, indeed, in most swellings accompanied with pain. 
They are, in these cases, to be applied externally, 
and in such quantities as to preserve their moisture 
against the fever of such tumors. The ointment made 
from the bruised leaves, is also valuable, and is made bv 

m 



522 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

boiling them in lard or tallow, straining it well, and set- 
ting it off to cool. 

In the abridged extract from Doctor Storck, I have 
shown the value of this medicine in mania, madness, 
or frenzy; and I now say that the value of this discov- 
eryin 1760, notwithstanding what has been said against 
it, has been amply substantiated by experiments of many 
distinguished men of the present age, among whom are 
Barton and Fisher — in fact, Barton's experimental tes- 
timony alone, would be quite sufficient: and here I wish 
it to be distinctly noticed by those afflicted with epilepsy 
or fits, that his testimony is clearly in its favor, as a most 
powerful remedy, even in deplorable cases — he has 
proved the fact from actual experiment. I wish the 
reader also to bear in mind the following facts, with 
regard to the value of simple medicines: the most 
learned sometimes decry their use, because there is not 
scientific mystery enough about them to excite the aston- 
ishment of the common people; and second, because 
they are often abused by quacks and pretenders, and 
men who have not perseverance and resolution enough 
to give them a fair trial. 



DOGWOOD. 

The dogwood is so common throughout the United 
States as to require no description whatever ; it is in fact 
to be found in every forest in our country. The dog- 
wood bark is generally considered equal to the peruvian 
bark; but I conceive it greatly superior, not only on 
account of our always being able to procure it fresh 
from the tree, but because the peruvian bark is old 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 523 

before it reaches this country, and nearly, if not always 
adulterated. It is among the best tonic and strength- 
ening medicines to be found in this or any other country. 
The bark of the root of the dogwood tree is the strong- 
est; next in strength to which is the bark of the body 
and smaller branches. In all intermittent fevers — by 
which I mean all fevers which go off and return again 
— it is an excellent remedy; and the only reason why it 
cannot be given in other fevers, is that when given in 
actual fever, it increases the pulse, and by so doing does 
mischief; hence you will see the necessity of never 
giving it except when the fever is entirely off. In cases 
where it produces pain, or griping of the bowels, a few 
drops of laudanum will remove the difficulty if given 
with the bark. In most cases the dose in powder — 
which is the best way of giving this bark — is from thir- 
ty to thirty-five grains ; and in some particular cases — 
mentioned under the proper heads — an addition of the 
snake root is to be made, in the proportions of thirty 
grains of the dogwood bark to six grains of the snake 
root, pounded to a powder. The wood itself, of the 
dogwood tree, is considerably used by dentists — by 
which I mean tooth-cleaners and setters — in putting in 
artificial teeth. The young branches, stripped of their 
bark, and rubbed with their ends against the teeth, ren- 
der them extremely white and beautiful. These are 
tooth-brushes of nature's presenting, and are infinitely 
better than those made of hog's bristles, and filled with 
snuff, and such other delightful aromatics! The negroes 
of the southern states, and those of the West India isl- 
ands, who are remarkable for the whiteness of their 
teeth, are in the constant practice of rubbing them with 
the small branches of the dogwood, or of some other 
tree which will answer the purpose. The ripe berries 



524 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

of the dogwood, in spirits of any kind, make an excel- 
lent bitter for common purposes, and one well adapted 
to persons of weak stomachs, taken in the morning. 
All the Indian nations use the flowers at the proper 
season, in warm water, or in spirits, as a remedy in 
windy colic. The dogwood is an excellent remedy — 
boiled strong as a tea or decoction — for horses having 
that destructive disease, the yellow water: a distemper 
which carries off thousands of that useful and noble 
animal every year. Horses having the yellow-water, 
should be bled every day freely, and given nothing to 
drink but strong dogwood tea. The powdered bark of 
this tree makes an excellent ink, and the process is very 
simple: — Take half an ounce of the powdered bark, 
two drachms of copperas, two scruples of gum arabic, 
or cherry-tree gum, and put them into one pint of rain 
water; mix them together, and in a few days it will be 
fit for use. The medical virtues of this bark were dis- 
covered as early as the year 1787. It is an astringent, 
and also a stimulant, and the internal use of it ren- 
ders the pulse always quicker, and often fuller than it 
naturally is. 



ALUM ROOT. 

This is a native of all the North American forests, 
from Georgia to Maine, and from the Atlantic ocean to 
the Oregon, or Rocky mountains. It is a very strong 
vegetable astringent; by which I mean, that when 
applied to the human body, it makes the solids harder 
and firmer, by contracting their fibres. As a powerful 
astringent, it is usually employed in all cases of weak- 
ness and irritability, and report speaks favorably of its 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 525 

virtues. It is generally used in external applications 
more than as an internal remedy: in piles, for instance 
— or hemorrhages from any part of the system: by 
which I mean spontaneous bleedings. 



GINSENG. 

This root is called by the people in the country gen- 
erally, for shortness, 'sang. It is found in great plenty 
among the hills and mountains of Tennessee, and 
brought into Knoxville daily for sale. Some few years 
back it was used as an article of commerce, and sent 
to the eastward in wagons as a commodity of foreign 
export, and afforded considerable employment and 
profit to the gatherers of it who resided near and 
among the mountains. It has latterly, however, fallen 
in price and value, as an article of exportation, and 
therefore, but little of it is brought in for sale. 

This root was exported to China, and afforded to the 
shipper a handsome profit — generally selling it in the 
Chinese dominions for its weight in silver. The 
Chinese attributed great virtues to this root; so many 
indeed, that at one period — 1748 — the price at Pekin 
is said to have been eight or nine times its weight in 
pure silver. They considered it as a sovereign remedy 
in all diseases incidental to their climate and country, 
and had no confidence in any medicine that was not 
combined with it: and such was its astonishing reputa- 
tion, that it was rarely, if ever, administered to the poor, 
on account of the highness of its price. They chew it. 
and take it in strong decoction, so as to get all the vir- 
tue from this precious drug. These people are remar- 
kable for their superstitious prejudices, civil, moral. 



526 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

and religious: as a proof of which, they set a higher 
value on those roots which have a resemblance to the 
human form, and ascribe greater powers to them than 
to those of a different shape. 

The ginseng has been fully tested by the best physi- 
cians in the United States, and they ascribe to it noth- 
ing more than its being a pleasant bitter, and a gentle 
stimulant for strengthening the stomach. It gives all 
its strength and virtues by being steeped in whiskey or 
any other kind of spirits. 



TOBACCO PLANT. 

Called by the learned nicotiana tobacum. This 
very common plant, was found in cultivation by the 
Indian nations, when the continents of North and 
South America were first discovered: — these, however 
are not the only regions of the globe in which it is 
found to flourish: the East Indies have long been 
known to produce it. To describe the tobacco plant, 
would be entirely useless ; it would answer as little pur- 
pose, as to describe on paper the countenance of an old 
friend, with whom we had long before shaken hands, 
and become perfectly familiar. I shall, therefore, con- 
sider it in no other light than as a medical drug. 

I shall first notice tobacco as a remedy for worms. 
I do not recollect ever to have tried it myself, but Doct. 
Barton expressly says— and his authority can in all cases 
be relied on — that "tobacco leaves pounded and mixed 
with vinegar, and applied^as a poultice to the breast and 
belly, will frequently expel worms, in cases where very 
powerful remedies have been resorted to in vain. In 
cases, also, where poisons of any kind have been taken 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 527 

into the stomach, and emetics given internally, and 
prove deficient in their operation, the tobacco poultice, 
as just described, if applied to the stomach will act 
powerfully, and force it to discharge the contents. In 
cases where the bowels are obstinately constipated, in 
other words, where great costiveness exists, the leaves 
of the tobacco plant, cured in the usual manner, stew- 
ed in vinegar, and applied to the belly, will be attended 
with signal success, when the most powerful purges 
internally taken have failed. The last mentioned ap- 
plication — tobacco leaves stewed in vinegar — is a good 
remedy in what physicians call ascites, or dropsy of the 
belly — of which there are two kinds: one kind is, where 
the dropsical water is lodged in the great cavity enclos- 
ing the intestines, or guts, &c. — this is called ascites 
abdominalis by medical men. The other is, where 
the water is lodged in a membrane, suck, or tube, about 
the womb, and is called ascite saccatus by physicians. 
I will, for the satisfaction of the reader, abridge a case 
of the latter kind from a letter of Dr. Cutbush, physi- 
cian of the American Marine hospital at Syracuse. 
The subject of the disease presumed by Dr. Cutbush to 
be dropsy, was a young woman brought to him by her 
parents. Some of her former physicians — thirty-three 
of whom had been consulted in her case — were of 
opinion that her disease was a collection of water in 
the womb ; others, that it was dropsy of the ovaria — 
these are the parts taken out of female swine when 
spaying — others, that it was an enlarged liver; and 
others still, that it was an extra-uterine fetus, which is 
a case of conception, in which the child is not in the 
womb where it should be, but in the cavity of the belly, 
outside of the womb. On examination, Dr. Cutbush 
discovered a large tumor, or swelling in the abdomen. 



528 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

or belly, which extended diagonally across it from the 
left to the right. The swelling, or tumor, which was 
unusually great, had a number of inequalities on its 
surface, which could be easily felt, and which, when 
pressed upon, produced extreme pain; no fluctuation 
or movement of water, however, could be discovered 
on such pressure. The case was new to him: and' in 
addition greatly perplexing, because the first physicians 
of Naples had given contrary opinions respecting it, 
and had also disagreed in their practice. She had 
been under the free use of mercury twice — once at 
Naples, and once at Syracuse: at the latter place, mer- 
cury had been given in large quantities by a surgeon 
belonging to Lord Nelson's fleet, without any beneficial 
effect. "From this history and examination," says the 
Doctor, "I entertained no hopes of relieving her; but 
the solemn entreaties of her parents determined me to 
make trial of a remedy which I had found useful in 
obstinate tumors, and which finally proved the disease 
to be a dropsical affection of the womb itself, or of the 
right fallopian tube." [These tubes extend from the 
sides of the womb towards the ovaria — which I have 
before explained — and are supposed to grasp them in 
sexual communication.] "I directed the leaves of the 
tobacco plant, recently collected, to be stewed in vine- 
gar, and applied to the abdominal tumor." The first 
application produced sickness at the stomach, puking, 
vertigo, or swimming in the head, great depression of 
muscular strength, copious sweating, and a loose state 
of the bowels. Her pulse became low; and the vio- 
lence of the symptoms induced the doctor not to con- 
tinue the application long. On the succeeding day it 
was repeated twice — morning and evening — and pro- 
duced the same symptoms, but less violent ; and attend- 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 529 

ed with an immoderate flow of water from the vagina 
and womb. This remedy was continued twenty days, 
and the patient was completely cured. No medicines 
were given, except a little opium, and some wine occa- 
sionally. 

In cases of dropsy generally, the tobacco plant has 
been found very serviceable. When given in proper 
quantities, it acts as a powerful diuretic — or in other 
words, it produces a great flow of urine — entirely dis- 
proportioned to the quantity of liquor taken into the 
stomach. This is a conclusive proof that it acts upon, 
and dislodges the dropsical fluid from the system. In 
cramps, or spasms it is also productive of much benefit: 
being well known to produce great relaxations of the 
muscular powers, and unusual prostration of strength 
— on which account, it may also be given with advan- 
tage in cases of tetanus, or locked-jaw, and in fact, in 
all cases where there appears to be a derangement of 
the muscular energies, local, or relating to a particular 
part, or general, and involving the whole system. 
When tobacco is to be taken internally, by the stomach, 
it ought either to be in the extract, as described by Dr. 
Storck, or in infusion. The infusion is made by steep- 
ing an ounce of tobacco leaves in a pint of boiling 
water, and giving it by the tea-spoonful with much cau- 
tion. One, two, or three table-spoonsful, in half a pint 
of warm milk, or thin gruel, will generally produce 
relief, if given in clysters, in cases of colic or very ob_ 
stinate costiveness, where all other medicines have 
proved ineffectual. If these quantities produce no 
relief, and there is no sickness of the stomach, the 
clysters must be repeated every half hour, gradually 
increasing the infusion until one or the other of these 

effects be produced. In this way. the dangerous effects 

f>7 



530 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

of tobacco may always be avoided. I will record a 
case in which obstinate constipation of the bowels was 
relieved by an infusion of tobacco when all other rem- 
edies had utterly failed: — In the city of Charleston, 
South Carolina, some years since, and before reading 
medicine, I was attacked at night with severe colic, 
which terminated in obstinate constipation of the bow- 
els. The pain was so excruciating that I was com- 
pelled to send for a physician: it was Dr. Whitterage, 
a gentleman equally celebrated for his philanthropy, 
and his profound knowledge of medical science. Dur- 
ing a period of ten days, apprehending an inflamma- 
tion, and consequent mortification of the bowels, this 
gentleman resorted to almost every known and power- 
ful remedy, without effect. As a last resort — of which 
he candidly informed me — recourse was had to clysters 
made of tobacco. The first, which was a weak infu- 
sion, had no effect; and the doctor directed my nurse 
to give a stronger one at midnight. Her fatigue caused 
her to fall asleep, and it was neglected till morning. 
By this time — the tobacco having remained in the wa- 
ter all night — the infusion had become unusually strongs 
in which state a clyster of it was given. The immedi- 
ate derangement of my feelings and sensations, and 
the horrible nausea and sickness of the stomach I 
suffered, are absolutely indescribable. I perspired at 
every pore, and so entire was the prostration of my 
muscular powers, that I had to be held on the close- 
stool. It was with difficulty that I could draw my 
breath. In a few minutes, by an almost unconscious 
effort, an extremely fetid discharge took place from 
the bowels, of the color and consistence of molasses, 
when I was entirely relieved. Subsequent experience 
has taught me to believe that, had this great and good 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 531 

man applied tobacco leaves, stewed in vinegar, to the 
abdomen, whilst I was under the operation of medi- 
cines taken by the stomach, I would much sooner 
have been relieved from my miseries. In concluding 
this subject, it can scarcely be necessary to advise my 
readers that, the tobacco plant is an active and power- 
ful medicine, and dangerous when used to injudicious 
excess. 



THE UVA URSI. 

Sometimes called the bear-berry, the bear's whortle- 
berry, and the wild cranberry. 

The uva ursi — sometimes designated by the names I 
have noted above — is a native of the mountains and 
cold regions of Europe, and it is said, of the north- 
ern parts of the United States. It is presumed, from 
numerous and well authenticated experiments, to be 
the best remedy ever yet discovered in all diseases of 
the urinary organs, whether of the kidnies, ureters, or 
bladder, and is therefore entitled to no ordinary consi- 
deration as a medicine. The dose usually given, of 
the powdered leaves of the uva ursi, in any kind of 
syrup, is from twenty to thirty grains, three or four 
times a day, which may be doubled in quantity, in 
cases of extreme urgency and danger. The descrip- 
tion of this plant, given by the celebrated Galen, which 
is considered the most accurate one on record, is in 
substance as follows: — It is a low shrub, which grows 
and spreads itself near the surface of the ground, and 
has pensile, or hanging branches ; bark of a redish or 
pink color, and is thickly set with oblong, oval, and 
entire fleshy leaves. The flower is oval shaped, and 



532 GIINN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

broader near the base than the mouth, which has an 
edge scolloped into five divisions, with small, blunt, and 
curled points. The fruit is a roundish, red colored 
berry, similar in appearance to the small wild cherry, 
and contains five hard bony seeds, with plain sides, and 
no more. It is an evergreen, and produces fruit every 
two years. Every part of this shrub, particularly the 
bark and leaves, has a bitter and astringent taste. I am 
thus particular in the description of it, because the bil- 
berry, or red myrtle, is often mistaken by good botanists 
for the uva ursi — they being so nearly alike as scarcely 
to he distinguishable from each other. The only dis- 
tinguishing characteristics which can be depended on 
are these: the flower of the uva ursi has ten stamina, 
more commonly known by the* name of antlers, or 
uprights, and the berries contain five seeds only — while 
the other, the bilberry, or red myrtle, has only eight 
stamina in the flower, and sometimes twenty seeds in 
the berry. I have some doubts, notwithstanding the 
opinion of the celebrated doctors Bigelow and Chapr 
man, for both of whom I entertain a high respect — that 
the real and genuine uva ursi of Galen, is not a native 
of any known and inhabited part of the North Ameri- 
can continent; and that its having been measurably 
brought into disrepute, like many other medicines, has 
been owing to the fact of other plants having been mis- 
taken for it, and used medicinally in its stead. Galen 
says that it is a rare plant, and is only to be found in 
the coldest countries, and in the neighborhood of moun- 
tains covered with eternal snows ; and that he never 
met with it but upon two of the highest mountains in 
Europe, one of which was an Austrian Alp, called Gans, 
and the other a Styrian Alp, called the snowy moun- 
tain, six leagues from Marianstein. We have no such 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 533 

mountains in North America, unless the Oregon or 
Rocky mountains, west of the Mississippi, of whose 
botanical productions we know little — perhaps nothing. 
But whether the uva ursi be an American plant or not, 
it can always be had genuine in the shops, and my prin- 
cipal motive for mentioning any doubts respecting its 
being a native of this country, is to guard those afflicted 
with diseases of the urinary organs, against the use of 
spurious or worthless plants in its stead. The following 
cases, abridged from a work of high authority, will show 
the genuine uva ursi in its true light. 

Case 1st. "A man about sixty years of age, had 
been about twenty years afflicted, at times, with a diffi- 
culty of making water, which was usually voided by 
single drops, accompanied with exquisite torture, a 
fcetid smell, and a mucus mixed with blood. Some- 
times there was a total suppression of urine, which 
could only be relieved by the catheter. He first took 
proper laxatives for the relief, of the bowels, and then 
commenced taking half a drachm of the uva ursi every 
morning. This prescription was continued for seven 
complete months; by which time his urine became 
more frequent and full of mucus, but not so fcetid as 
before ; and the pain which had tortured him so many 
years, was quite gone ; he slept well ; had a good appe- 
tite ; grew strong ; walked well ; and made water with- 
out any pain. 

Case 2d. "This was also a man about sixty years 
of age, who had for a long time been afflicted with 
exquisite pains, and a suppression of urine to so great 
a degree, that for seven weeks he had never passed his 
water but by the help of a catheter. Haifa drachm of 
the powdered leaves of the uva ursi was given him every 
morning. and a gentle dose of paregoric at night; and 



534 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

after six days he had no further need of the catheter 
Having persevered in the use of the medicine for four- 
teen weeks, he was restored to perfect health. 

Case 3d. "A man came to us, whose name was 
Christian: he was afflicted with hydrocele, or dropsy of 
the scrotum, or bag, for which he had taken medicines 
usually given in such cases. When this course was 
finished, a defect in the urinary system began to threaten 
— insomuch, that in a short time his urine became of a 
white color; was passed with great difficulty and pain: 
and as soon as discharged, had a very bad and offen- 
sive smell. The catheter being introduced repeatedly, 
evidently proved that there was a calculus, or stone in 
the bladder. The uva ursi was therefore given in the 
quantities before noticed ; by which, in a short time, so 
great relief was obtained, that not only a due retention 
of urine took place, but it was also passed without pain, 
in smell and color perfectly natural ; and I assert it — 
says the writer — that by continuing the use of this med- 
icine for two months, every calculus sign and symptom 
was entirely removed ; although by sounding him again, 
the calculus or stone was still found in the bladder. 
This is the first, and the only person, among all I have 
seen, who frequently made water of a healthy appear- 
ance whilst a stone remained in the bladder, How it 
came to pass, and by what means the patient should 
obtain such benefit from this plant, as to be entirely 
exempt from pain, and all other inconveniences, when 
a stone still existed in the bladder, is what I must con- 
fess myself entirely unable to explain." 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. .135 

SLIPPERY ELM. 
This tree deserves ""great attention, as being among 
the best remedies in our country. I have mentioned 
frequently, that in many diseases it should be used as a 
poultice, and in many others as a clyster. I shall now 
describe the valuable properties of this tree more at 
large. The inner bark must be used — and that of the 
young tree is preferable. As a poultice, nothing is supe- 
rior, particularly in old gun-shot wounds. During the 
revolutionary war, oursurgeons used it with the happi- 
est effects. They applied poultices of it to fresh 
wounds, and always produced immediate suppuration — 
in other words discharge of matter — and a quick dis- 
position to heal. When any appearance of mortifica- 
tion was evident, the bark was pounded, and boiled in 
water, and made into a poultice. When applied, it 
produced immediately a surprising change for the bet- 
ter. In dysentery and consumptions, the inner bark 
boiled in water and drank freely, will be found a valua- 
ble medicine. It is cooling and soothing to the-bowels. 
It may be made into a fine jelly, which if taken freely, 
is a certain and astonishing remedy in all bowel and 
breast complaints, and may be freely administered to 
children. This mucilaginous bark is so nutritive, that 
it supplies the Indians with food in times of scarcity. 
It is one of the most cooling and pleasant remedies, 
and I may add, that it is not only one of the most valu- 
able articles we have, but deserves the confidence of 
every person who practises or administers medicine. 



536 GUJSN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

JERUSALEM OAK. 

From this plant — which grows plentifully throughout 
the State of Tennessee, and too well known by almost 
every person to require a description — the oil called 
worm seed oil is made. This oil has for some time 
attracted a considerable share of popular favor, as an 
antidote against worms in children. It is sold in almost 
every store, under the name of " worm seed oil ; " and 
persons who purchase this oil or medicine, should be 
careful that they are not imposed upon ; because it is 
very often adulterated with spirits of turpentine, by 
which they are always disappointed in their expectation 
of benefit. 

In its pure and unadulterated state there is no medi- 
cine preferable to the oil made from the Jerusalem 
oak for expelling worms from children; but it must 
never be given when the child has fever, because it will 
in that case increase the fever — the oil being highly 
stimulating and inflammatory. When this oil is admin- 
istered, from eight to ten drops must be given to a child 
two years old, on a lump of sugar — it ought to be given 
three times a day, for three days in succession ; after 
which you must give a good dose of calomel, say five 
or six grains, or a dose of castor oil — the calomel, how- 
ever, is the most certain to produce a full discharge of 
worms. If no worms are discharged, and they are still 
suspected to exist in the system, repeat the dose again, 
and again, until you bring them from the child. A 
wine-glassful of a decoction of the Jerusalem oak, 
made by boiling it in milk, in the proportion of a hand- 
ful of the leaves to a quart of milk, is a dose for a child ; 
but the pure oil is by far the best. 



GU.WS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 537 

DITTANY. 

Tins handsome little plant belongs exclusively to 
America, and is known to almost every farmer and his 
family in the country. It grows plentifully in Tennes- 
see. The dittany is always found in dry soils, and in 
shady and hilly places: it is used in slight fevers as a 
tea: every old lady in the country has more or less 
used dittany tea in colds. It is excellent to relieve 
nervous head aches, and is a good remedy in the hys- 
terical affections of women. In South Carolina and 
Georgia, the dittany is given frequently by infusing the 
leaves in hot water and administering it as a tea, drank 
as warm as possible, to produce sweating. The medi- 
cinal virtues of dittany are much the same as penny- 
royal, mint, and sage: it is a perfectly innocent plant. 



MAY APPLE. 

Sometimes called wild lemon, duck's foot, ipecacu- 
anha, and by the learned, podophyllum peltatum. 

This plant, which possesses very important medicin- 
al virtues, is presumed to be an exclusive production 
of the North American continent: it is every where 
found in abundance .on congenial soils, from the state 
of Maine to the Mexican gulf, and from the Atlantic 
sea-coast to the Oregon mountains. In the language 
of the learned, it is a perennial herbaceous plant; in 
other words, the roots do not perish by the frosts and 
snows of the winter. The May apple is well known, 
to almost every person in the United States: it has a 
plain upright stem, of a yellowish green color, about 
twelve or fourteen inches in height: two large horizon- 
tal leaves at the top, between which, and in the fork, 

68 



538 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

when in bloom, there is a white flower — which is suc- 
ceeded by a yellow acid fruit. Respecting the different 
properties of this plant, the reader is desired to recol- 
lect the fruit is good for food — the leaves poisonous — 
and that its medicinal virtues are wholly confined to 
the root. The season proper for gathering the root, is 
late in the fall, when the leaves begin to dropt if gath- 
ered in the spring, it is comparatively good for nothing. 
The Indians dry it in the shade, and use it in powders. 
The American May apple root is an excellent, gen- 
tle, and effective purge, and is presumed by many cele- 
brated practical physicians, to be greatly superior to 
the jalap obtained in the shops. Practical experiment 
has proved that this root operates more gently as a 
purge than jalap ; that it operates a much longer time ; 
and that it is by no means so drastic and griping as 
jalap. It is also preferable to jalap in other respects : 
it is less nauseous, and more easily taken ; less irrita- 
ting to the stomach and bowels, and may be more 
easily used by delicate females and persons having 
weak and sensitive stomachs. It may be given with 
much advantage in what physicians call colica picto- 
neum, or dry belly ache — sometimes a dangerous com- 
plaint — in intermittent fevers; and particularly in 
dropsy, on account of its producing continued and 
large evacuations. Taken in a small dose, say of ten 
or twelve grains in powder, it is a gentle and easy laxa- 
tive: twenty, twenty-five, or thirty grains, usually oper- 
ate with activity and power; and where griping is 
apprehended, the mixture of eight or ten grains of 
calomel will be of advantage. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



539 



CANCER ROOT— BEECH DROPS. 

Called by the learned, Orobanche Virginiana. 
This plant is the natural growth of every part of the 
United States: is usually found under the beech tree, 
and is of a sickly yellow, or pale pink color, and entire- 
ly without leaves. The root, which appears blunt and 
round at the bottom, and is covered with twisted and 
matted fibres on its lower end, is of a yellow color; 
the stems and the branches are finely furrowed ; and on 
the ridges formed by these furrows, there will be found . 
dark, purple, white and yellow stripes. Between the 
root and the first divisions of the stalk, there are blunt 
pointed and bud-like scales which stand out from the 
surface ; and similar ones, but more resembling buds, 
are scattered along the branches nearly to their tops. 
The plant grows from eight to fifteen inches high. 
The reasons for my being thus particular in the descrip- 
tion of this plant, will be presently seen. 

From the best information I can collect respecting 
the history of the Cancer root, it appears to have been 
originally a cure for cancers, used by the Indians, and 
communicated by them to a surgeon of one of the 
Pennsylvania regiments many years ago, stationed at 
what was then called Fort Pitt. The physician to 
whom the secret was communicated by the Indians, 
afterwards came to Philadelphia, and advertised for 
the cure of cancers. He had been the student of Dr 
Rush, who speaks thus of the application. "It gave 
me great satisfaction to witness the efficacy of the doc- 
tor's applications: in several cancerous ulcers, the cures 
he performed were complete. But when the cancers 
were much connected with the lymphatic system, or 
accompanied with a scrophulous habit of body, his 
medicine always foiled, and in some instances did 



540 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

evident injury." The word "scrofula," is derived from 
scrofa, a hog — because this animal is subject to a simi- 
lar disorder, which means king's evil. The physician 
who had the secret from the Indians, died in 1784, and 
it was supposed the secret had died with him ; but Dr. 
Rush procured from one of his administrators, some of 
the powders, and found them compounded of the dried 
and pounded cancer root and arsenic ; the proportion 
of arsenic — of the pure white kind — was not more than 
one fortieth part of the whole compound. Most of the 
cures effected by these powders, were situated about the 
nose, forehead, and cheeks, and upon the surface and 
extremities of the body. Cancers, taints of the fluids 
of the body, or those which affect the whole lymphatic 
system, must be cured by diet and internal medical 
remedies. Dr. Rush says, that the powder compounded 
of cancer root and arsenic, in the proportions I have 
mentioned, and applied in the proper cases of cancer, 
produced inflammation, which separated the sound 
flesh from the cancerous ulcer and its roots, and 
that he therefore preferred the application of those 
powders to the use of the knife, in all such cases. I 
will conclude these remarks by observing, that the 
cancer root is a valuable remedy in old and obstinate 
ulcers, in which it has often been known to succeed, 
when all other applications had failed. It must be 
gathered in the month of September. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 541 

BONE SET. 

Sometimes called thorough-wort, cross-wort, Indian 
sage, and perhaps more properly, by the Indians, ague 
weed. The learned name of it is eupatorium perfoli- 
atum. 

The boneset is a valuable plant, and cannot be too 
highly prized as a medicine. I regret to say, that at 
this time most of its medical virtues remain unknown. 
It has been used in the hospitals in New York with 
areat success, given either as a tea or in powder. The 
limited size of my book prevents me from writing at 
large on the great virtues it possesses: but I will merely 
make this remark, that it is endowed with more real 
and genuine virtues than any plant now known. The 
stalk is heavy, and rises from two to four feet, perfora- 
ting or bearing the leaves at each joint. The flowers 
are white, and appear and July in August. The leaves 
at each joint are horizontal, teethed and rough, from 
three to four inches long, about an inch broad at their 
base, gradually lessening to an acute point, of a dark 
oreen color, and covered with short hairs. It is a native 
of the United States, and is every where to be found in 
Tennessee. It is generally found in abundance on the 
edges of ponds which are surrounded by thickets of 
brushwood ; in low and damp woodlands ; on the banks 
of small water courses, creeks and rivulets, which are 
deeply shaded by the close foliage of the trees; and 
sometimes in open meadows, and waste low lands. I 
do not know what the name of bone set was derived 
from ; nor do I thmk it very material that the reader 
should be informed ; because real wisdom and useful 
intelligence, have much more relation to the nature of 
things, than to the mere names of things. The medical 
properties of this plant are various and powerful; nor 



54'2 GIFNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

do I believe there is one which is a native of the soil of 
our country, more entitled to the attention and experi- 
ments of medical men. The whole plant is extremely 
bitter to the taste, and in some degree astringent; by 
which I mean, that when it is applied to the tongue, or 
any other part of the body, it contracts the fibres and 
surface, without any voluntary exertion of the muscular 
power. It is a strong tonic or strengthener to the 
stomach ; and always when used internally, produces 
an increased discharge from the skin, which, when con- 
densed on the surface, is called sweat: in these respects, 
from well attested experiments, its medical virtues are 
unequivocal as well as powerful. It can always be 
given successfully, and without danger, in violent 
catarrhs or colds, even when attended with some fever; 
because its stimulating effects are too slight to increase 
the fever, while the other qualities of imparting strength 
and causing perspiration, are in active operation. I 
wish the reader particularly to notice, that I mention 
the beneficial effects of the bone set plant, in cases of 
violent catarrh or cold, because it is a dangerous fore- 
runner of phthisis, or pulmonary consumption, in very 
many instances, and ought always to be removed imme- 
diately, if possible. This plant is also an excellent 
remedy in ague and fever, which is the reason of its 
being called by the Indians, by a name which in their 
language signifies ague weed. It is also a valuable 
remedy in all intermittent and remittent fevers — always 
acting as powerfully and beneficially as Peruvian bark. 
In fact, I think it in many cases preferable to the bark; 
because it can be given where there is considerable 
fever ; in which condition of a patient, the bark cannot 
be administered without great danger. For this reason 
also — I mean because it never increases fever — it can 



GUJVIN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 543 

always be given, and has been repeatedly administered 
successfully, not only in remitting bilious fever, but in 
typhus and yellow fevers. Dr. S. G. Hopkins, of New 
Jersey, a physican of much celebrity, in an extensive 
practice of several years, during which the intermittent 
and remittent fevers were very prevalent, gave the bone 
set freely, in warm decoction, with great success. By 
giving the bone set very copiously, he always produced 
sweating to allay the fever; and in dangerous cases, 
pushed the remedy so far as to produce emesis, or vom- 
iting, and also purging. He related to several of his 
friends, that many of the farmers in his vicinity, without 
calling in a physician, had, by the liberal use of bone 
set tea, given warm, entirely succeeded in curing them- 
selves and their families of both intermittent and typhus 
fevers. The truth is, that in low typhus, which is very 
dangerous, and always attended with an unusually hot 
skin, the bone set is an inestimable remedy. It is 
always used with the best effect, in a warm decoction 
of the flowers and leaves, which ought to be dried in 
the shade, and kept for use ; the warm decoction is 
generally preferable to the plant in substance ; and from 
one to two table spoonfuls, given every half hour, will 
in most cases produce sweating without causing so much 
nausea of the stomach as to induce vomiting. If the 
fever is broken, and you wish to give strength to your 
patient, give the bone set in the powdered leaves and 
flowers, from twenty grains to a drachm, from three to 
six times in the lapse of twenty-four hours. Used in 
decoction as above stated, it is also a valuable remedy 
in yellow fever, as has been proved by repeated and 
well attested experiments. The bone set is also very 
cilicacious in removing acute rheumatism — for descrip- 
tion of which, look under that head: — but it ought to 



541 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

be employed in this case after blood-letting to reduce 
the inflammatory action. 

With the above commentary on the important uses 
of this plant in medicine, I recommend it to the serious 
attention of my readers. It affords another proof that 
Providence has given us the means of curing many of 
our diseases, without resorting to the adulterated drugs 
of foreign lands. 



COMMON BLACKBERRY BUSH. 
Called by botanists rubus mllosus. This root is 
every where known, and therefore requires no descrip- 
tion. It is eminently useful in all such diseases as are 
to be treated with astringent medicines: the root par- 
ticularly, is powerfully astringent, and when used 
medicinally, is generally made into a tea. When the 
ripe fruit itself is employed, it ought to be given in the 
juice, or made into a syrup or jelly. The tea or decoc- 
tion is made by boiling a handful of the bruised roots 
in a pint and a half of water, until it is reduced to a 
pint; thus prepared, it is given with success in diarrhoeas 
and dysenteries — a small tea-cupful every two hours — 
and has often been known to effect cures when many 
other remedies had failed. In the disease called by 
physicians, cholera infantum, known by painful gri- 
pings and purgings of children, a weak decoction of 
the blackberry root may be given with good effects ; but 
as these purgings may in many cases be considered as 
the efforts of nature to remove the causes of disease, it 
ought to be given with much caution, and not until 
proper evacuations have been made to remove offensive 
nuitter from the stomach ami bowels. In fact, it ought 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 545 

to be given in no case of dysentery or cholera infan- 
tum, until all offending matter, if any is presumed to 
exist, be removed by gentle pukes and purges. Black- 
berry syrup, made from the ripe fruit, ought to be kept 
prepared in all families, and given freely in all cases of 
derangement of the bowels. 



BUTTON SNAKE ROOT. 

This is a native of all the Southern States, from the 
sea-board to the Mississippi; the root has a sharp, 
aromatic, and very bitter taste, and whenever chewed, 
it produces a considerable flow of saliva, or spittle. A 
tea or decoction of it, taken internally, produces a dis- 
charge from the skin, and expectoration from the throat 
and lungs. By many physicians of reputation, it is 
held in higher estimation than the Seneka snake root, 
which it very much resembles in its effects. 



CAMOMILE. 

The tame species is a native of Europe, but may be 
cultivated in most parts of the United States, and par- 
ticularly, in the mild climate of Tennessee, It is 
perennial: that is to say, its roots do not die by the 
frosts of winter, but shoot forth and blossom through 
succeeding years. The flowers are generally used for 
medical purposes, and sold in the shops: the single ones 
are the best, because they are the strongest. Infusion 
in water, extracts the medicinal properties of the cam- 
omile flower, which drank cold, is highly useful as a 
tonic: in other words, it will give tone and strength to 

69 



546 GUJNN'S DOMESTIC MEDIC1JNI 

an irritable and weak stomach, repair a debilitated 01 
lost appetite, and operate favorably on such young fe- 
males as labor under what is called green sickness: 
which means the retention or suppression of the menses. 
It also operates as an anti-spasmodic: that is to say, it 
relaxes the involuntary contractions of the muscles of 
all parts of the body, and particularly of the stomach, 
in what is commonly called cramp: it is also of service 
in all nervous weaknesses of females. When taken 
warm, and in considerable quantities, it aids materially 
in the operation of emetics, or pukes, &,c. &c. — The 
camomile flowers when steeped in old whiskey, or in 
any good spirits, and taken two or three times a day, 
in moderate quantities, is an excellent medicine to give 
tone or strength to a weak stomach and restore the 
appetite: For women, given in hysterical complaints, 
this is a valuable remedy. 



IPECACUANHA. 

This root is a native of Spanish America; and in 
the Spanish language, it means vomiting or puking 
root. The word ipecacuanha is applied to several 
other roots which produce vomiting or puking to any 
extent. The proper, or botanical name of this root is 
the raicilla: I have, however, adopted the name ipe- 
cacuanha — by which it is most commonly known to 
physicians. This root was first brought into Europe 
about the middle of the last century, but did not come 
into general use until about the year 1786, when it was 
introduced into the practice of medicine by Helvetius, 
under the patronage of Louis XIV. The ipecacuanha 
is one of the mildest and safest emetics, or pukes, with 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDIC INK. 



547 



which vvc are acquainted, and has this great advantage; 
that if it should fail to puke, it passes off by purging or 
sweating; and further, if by accident an over dose is 
taken, it is attended with no danger; as the whole of it 
is vomited with the contents of the stomach, as soon as 
it operates.— The vomiting or puking is promoted by 
drinking freely of warm water. 

The genuine ipecacuanha in its dry state, is a small 
wrinkled root, about the size of a hen's quill, variously 
twisted, and marked with projecting parts, apparently 
like rings — ash colored. Its taste is sickening, and 
slightly bitter, with little smell, and covering the tongue 
with a kind of mucilage. On breaking the root, the 
outer bark is very brittle; and it is in this brittle part 
that the activity and power of the root as a puke resides 
the centre of the root being nearly destitute of medi- 
cinal virtues. This root is generally sold in the shops 
in a powder, that being the form in which it is used as 
a vomit or puke: The powder is the color of common 
ashes. 

I have now described to you the imported ipecacu- 
anha, or the medicine which is now used throughout 
all the world under that name; and I may justly re- 
mark, that it stands at the head of vegetable emetics, 
for the promptness, efficacy and safety of its operations. 

In powder, which is the manner in which it is gen- 
erally given, full vomiting or puking will be produced 
in a grown person, by a dose of a scruple, or half a 
drachm: or you may put a drachm into six table- 
spoonsful of warm water, and give a table-spoonful 
occasionally, until it operates: or you may steep it in 
wine, and give it in small doses, until the effect you 
desire, is produced. 



548 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

The medicinal uses of this powder, when properly 
applied, are very great and valuable. In addition to 
its acting as a vomit or puke, when given in small 
doses, so as to produce nausea — which means sickness 
of the stomach — it generally produces moisture of the 
skin— or sweat. — evacuation of the bowels; and in still 
smaller doses, it generally stimulates the stomach, in- 
creases the appetite, and assists digestion. In small 
doses, it acts not only as a diaphoretic — which means 
sweating — but as an expectorant — which means a free 
discharge of tough mucus and spittle from the mouth 
and throat. It is also a valuable medicine when given 
in small doses, to stop spontaneous bleedings from the 
lungs and womb.— -These bleedings are called hemorrh- 
ages.— In intermittent fevers, it has generally succeeded 
in stopping them, especially when given about an hour 
before the coming on of the fever; and also when 
given so as to produce vomiting at the time of the 
fever, or end of the cold stage. Great benefits are 
often derived from this medicine in continued fevers — 
and particularly in the commencement of typhus fever 
— an emetic or puke of ipecacuanha, followed with a 
sufficiency of this medicine in very small doses, to 
keep up a gentle moisture or sweat, will, if attended to 
in the early stage of this complaint, probably at once 
cut short the disease, or greatly lessen the severity and 
symptoms of the fever. 

Wine of ipecacuanha is sometimes substituted for 
the powder: it is, however, better suited to children- 
As an emetic or puke, the dose for a grown person, is 
one fluid ounce — which is about half a large wine or 
stem glassful. For a description of this wine of ipe- 
cacuanha look under that head. 



i.l N\'s DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



:>4<) 



COMMON TANSY. 
Tansy- is perennial, or perpetual, and grows wild by 
the sides of roads, and the borders of fields, but is 
most frequently cultivated in gardens, both for culinary 
and medicinal purposes: It flowers in July, and fre- 
quently in June. The leaves are generally used as a 
medicine, and when steeped in whiskey, or any kind of 
spirits, make a moderately warm, and highly valuable 
bitter for weak stomachs, very beneficial to children in 
preventing worms. It should be given to them in the 
morning, on empty stomachs. Some physicians have 
spoken highly of its virtues in hysteric disorders — par- 
ticularly those proceeding from a deficiency or sup- 
pression of the menses or courses. An infusion or tea 
made of tansy, and drank freely, has been strongly 
recommended as a preventive of the return of gout, 



SAGE. 

This valuable garden herb was once supposed by 
the ancients, to prolong the lives of those who would 
frequently use it. They dedicated to it the following 
maxim: — "How can a man die, in whose garden there 
grows sage?" — in allusion to its many virtues. It is too 
well known, and too much used to require a descrip- 
tion. It makes an excellent tea to produce sweat or 
moisture of the skin — and by.adding a little lemon juice 
or vinegar so as to make it pleasantly sour, is a good 
remedy in fevers. 



550 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

RUE AND BALM. 

Rue is also a garden herb; the leaves of which, 
made into tea, will produce perspiration, or sweating, 
quicken the circulation, and remove obstructions of the 
blood. It is valuable to weak and hysterical constitu- 
tions. 

Balm is also a garden herb, and affords a pleasant tea 
to be drank in fevers. When drank freely, it will pro- 
duce perspiration or sweat, and of course, is good in 
slight fevers. 



AMERICAN COLUMBO. 

This stately and elegant plant is a native of the 
United States, and is found in abundance in both Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee. It has various names: such as 
Columbia, Indian lettuce, columbo root, Marietta co- 
lumbo, and wild columbo. The stalk grows from eight 
to ten feet in height ; it is strong, juicy and fleshy, near- 
ly square, and furrowed at the sides, and sends off its 
leaves, which are of a deep green color, at intervals of 
six or eight inches, to something more than half its 
length, and smaller leaves and flowering branches to 
the top. The root is biennial — that is, it lives two 
years — it is large, full of knots, plump and full, and of 
a yellow color: The leaves are occasionally opposite to 
each other ; and usually grow from four to eight togeth- 
er: they are something sharp, and sometimes oblong: 
or in other words, oval, or egg shaped, and sharp at 
the points. The flowers grow in clusters, and are of a 
greenish yellow, or cream color. 

The columbo root, which is the only part to be used 
— is a mild, pleasant, and highly valuable bitter — act- 



GUNNiS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 551 

ing as a powerful tonic, or strengthening medicine. It 
is valuable in dyspepsia, or indigestion, and in diarrhoea, 
or looseness of the bowels, arising from a redundancy 
of bile. It will generally check vomiting or puking, 
and will always be found beneficial in colic, or cramps 
of the stomach, want of appetite, and cholera morbus 
— which means puking and purging: It may be taken 
in substance — by which I mean powdered — a tea- 
spoonful every three or four hours: or a decoction or 
tea, a wine glassful three or four times a day: or you 
may steep the root, (say two ounces) in a quart of 
old whiskey, which must stand for a few days, that the 
spirits may extract the virtues from the root. This 
valuable bitter may be used three or four times a day, 
in doses of a table-spoonful or more ; and by adding a 
few drops of peppermint to this preparation, it is a good 
remedy to moderate the puking which sometimes oc- 
curs with pregnant women. AH persons who are sub- 
ject to lowness, or depression of spirits, instead of 
resorting to more dangerous stimulants, should use this 
Columbo bitter freely. 



BLOOD, OR PUCCOON ROOT. 

Sometimes called Indian paint, and red root, but 
learnedly denominated Sanguinaria canadenis. 

This plant is a native of North America, from the 
( Canadian provinces to the Gulf of Mexico, and per- 
haps of no other region of the globe. It is not only a 
plant peculiar to the continent of North America, the 
virtues of which are so well known to the Indian 
nations, but its root is perennial: in other words, it is 
not destroyed by the frosts and snows of winter. It 



55*J GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICIM:. 

generally grows about a foot high in rich wood lands, 
and varies in thickness from a quarter to three quarters 
of an inch in diameter — which means across. It is 
generally about the size and length of a finger ; fleshy 
and round, and the end of the root has the appearance 
of having been cut off by a dull instrument, or as if it 
had been broken off in removing it from the ground- 
The outside color of the root is brownish, but on being 
cut, the juice flows of a blood-red color. 

The puccoon flowers early in April, bearing but 
single flowers on each stem. The blossoms are white 
the stems perfectly naked ; the upper side of the leaf 
of a pale, sickly green, and the veins which pass through 
it, of an orange color. The flower bud is of a faint, or 
delicate rose color: the seeds, which are round and 
pointed are very numerous. 

The leaves and seeds of the puccoon plant — which 
is the name I have adopted — like the seeds of the 
stramonium, or Jamestown weed, are poisonous, and 
must never be used. The root seems to contain all its 
medicinal qualities; and is closely allied in its effects 
on the human system, to the seneka snake root, and in 
some of its effects, to the digitalis purpuria, or fox-glove* 
A decoction, or tea, as it is usually called, made of the 
puccoon root, is highly recommended in the treatment 
of old and indolent ulcers — which simply means old 
sores that do not seem inclined to heal — and the dried 
and pounded root, applied a few times, in some cases 
of ill-conditioned ulcers, with callous edges, and an 
itcherous or itching discharge, seldom fails to produce a 
healthy state of the sores. It is an excellent remedy 
in croup, and must be given in doses sufficient to pro 
ducc vomiting, or puking; some physicians rely on it 
wholly in croup. It is also an excellent remedy in 



GUJSN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 553 

dropsy of the chest — called by physicians hydrothorax — 
given in doses of sixty drops of the juice three times a 
day, and increased until nausea or sickness of the 
stomach follows each dose. This root in powder, from 
twenty to thirty grains, is an active emetic puke. Dr. 
Barton, one of the professors in the Philadelphia medi- 
cal college, thinks it nearly equal to the seneka, or rat- 
tle snake root, in cases of ulcerous sore throat, croup 
and hives, and diseases of this nature. It is a valuable 
medicine to produce a determination to the surface- 
by which I mean sweating — and also in colds, pleuri- 
sies, rheumatism, and other inflammatory disorders. 
When used for these last diseases, it should be given 
as a tincture — which is the root steeped for several 
days in spirits of any kind — and given in doses of ten 
drops every two or three hours, until a moisture or 
sweat is produced on the skin. This tincture is also 
valuable in jaundice, in torpor of the liver, attended 
with colic and yellowness of the skin, a disease com- 
mon to southern climates. The puccoon root, made 
into a tincture, and gradually and cautiously used, will 
be found a valuable medicine in stoppages of the men- 
ses or courses in women. I have used it with great 
success in my practice, when every other medicine 
usually resorted to had failed. My usual method of 
preparing it is, to steep about a handful of the root 
sliced, in half a pint of old whiskey, letting it stand 
five or eight days, when the tincture is fit for use; be- 
ginning with ten drops, and gradually increasing the 
dose, as circumstances may require. But you may 
give it in a decoction or tea — a handful of it to a quart 
of boiling water — a table-spoonful every two or three 

hours, as the situation of the patient may require. 

70 



554 GUJVN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

This root, powdered very fine, and snuffed up the 
nose, is said to be a certain cure for polypus, a fleshy 
teat, or grisly substance, which grows in the nostril, 
gradually increasing in size, until breathing becomes 
difficult, and which sometimes, unless removed, ends 
in suffocation. I have lately made experiments with 
this root in a disorder called tetter worm, and in 
several instances succeeded in curing it when other 
valuable remedies had failed. Steep the sliced roots 
in strong vinegar ten days, and wash the part affected 
two or three times a day. I shall conclude my remarks 
on this valuable root by observing, that it possesses a 
great many valuable qualities which are probably yet 
unknown. The best time to collect it for medical 
purposes, is when the seeds are ripe — which is about 
the beginning of May. 



SENNA. 
I shall first describe to you the foreign, or imported 
senna, generally used in the practice of medicine; after 
which I shall describe the American plant senna, which, 
on almost numberless trials, has proved to be but very 
little, if any, inferior to the imported, or that sold in 
the shops, and mostly used by physicians. I have 
used them both and can discover no difference. This 
affords another proof of a bountiful providence, in 
bestowing on this people, a plant of so much value, and 
one which, before its discovery here, we were compell- 
ed to import from Egypt. Here I again repeat what I 
have frequently said in this work, that all that is re- 
quired of us are industry and attention, and we will 



(JUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 555 

discover in a few years, thousands of medical plants in 
the western country, superior in every respect to the 
foreign, by which we will have this further advantage: 
we will always have them fresh, and in full possession 
of their virtues. 

The leaves of the senna are alone used in medicine. 
The imported plant grows in Turkey, Syria, and Per- 
sia. It is commonly called Alexandria senna, because 
it was once imported exclusively from the city of Alex- 
andria in Egypt. This medicine was originally receiv- 
ed from the Arabians — and large quantities of it are 
now brought from Nubia, which is known in Egypt by 
the name of the valley or country of Barabras ; it is a 
narrow valley through which the Nile flows, where the 
view is confined on two sides alternately, by a lofty 
chain of mountains. Senna is the chief production or 
commodity of this country. It is not cultivated, but 
grows naturally on the sides of the hills and ravines. 
Each person has the right of gathering what grows in 
his district. Two crops are annually made, the pro- 
ductiveness of which depends on the duration of the 
rains, which fall periodically every year. The first, and 
most fruitful crop, is that gathered at the termination 
of the rains — the second crop is small. No expense 
attends the preparation of the plants, which merely 
consists in cutting and spreading them on the rocks to 
dry. This process, in that warm climate, only occu- 
pies a single day. The senna is then put up in bales 
of one hundred pounds, and the slave merchants con- 
vey them by camels to Sienne and Darao, where they 
are sold for eleven or twelve francs a bale — which is 
about two dollars and twenty-eight cents. They are 
then carried to the farmer-general at Cairo — an officer 
appointed by the government to examine and purchase 



556 GUNK'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

them. The sum fixed by him is from thirty to thirty- 
three francs — which is about eight dollars and twenty- 
seven cents. They are then sold by them to the 
European factors or merchants, for one hundred and 
six francs each bale, which is equal to twenty dollars 
and fourteen cents, and by them exported to the differ- 
ent quarters of the world. American citizen! why 
will you pay such accumulated and enormous expenses 
to foreign governments and merchants, for an article 
which is furnished plentifully by the soil of your own 
country? 

The demand for this article from Europe every crop 
is, generally, from about fourteen to fifteen hundred 
quintals, of one hundred pounds each. The great de- 
mand for this medicine, both in Europe and the United 
States, has induced the Egyptian merchants to mix with 
it senna of an inferior quality, which sometimes occa- 
sions it to fail in producing the immediate effect intend- 
ed. Although this fraud, when practiced, does no 
serious injury, it frequently disappoints us in the active 
operation of the medicine: the inferior senna, although 
producing eventually the same effects, is much slower 
and weaker in its operation. 



AMERICAN SENNA. 
Having given you the history of the European, I 
shall now proceed to describe to you our own senna, 
which grows abundantly in the United States, and 
particularly in the western country. In fact, it is found 
plentifully about Knoxville, and on the shores of the 
Holston river. I have told you that I had used both, 
and could perceive no difference in their operation-— 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 



557 



and I now repeat the fact, that it may be the more for- 
cibly impressed upon your mind. Notwithstanding 
this, those who prefer the foreign senna to our own, 
may easily gratify their preference, as the imported 
kind is now cultivated in North Carolina, and is found 
to flourish abundantly, It is evident that we do not 
obtain the pure plant from abroad: I have shown the 
manner of adulteration: why, then, should we not cul- 
tivate the foreign plant sufficiently for our own con- 
sumption, if we must and will have it? The wild 
senna of America, is a most beautiful plant. I will 
describe it in as plain terms as possible — knowing at 
the same time, that it is very difficult, if not utterly 
impossible, to delineate in mere language, what can 
only be known to the eye: — It has frequently several 
stems from the same root: these stems are, generally 
either entirely smooth, or furnished with a few strag- 
gling hairs. The lamer sized leaves, I believe, are 
mostly confined to the larger branches, and are disposed 
in pairs opposite to each other, on the sides of those 
branches which run out nearly in a horizontal direction 
from the stem. The flowers are of a bright orange 
color, and are usually found on small sprays or sprigs, 
which shoot out in the angles formed by the stems and 
larger branches. Near the top, the flowers are attach- 
ed to the main stems. The stems rise from two to four 
feet in height. The leaves are rather long — green 
abovo, and pale underneath ; they should be gathered 
about the last of August for use. 

Dr. Barton, an eminent physician, and professor of 
Botany in the University at Philadelphia, informs us 
that he had some experience with the American senna 
durin" a term of practice in the Marine hospital of 
that city. "I have," says the Doctor, ;i for some months 



558 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

past, substituted the American for the Alexandrian 
senna, and very frequently employed it. I have, also, 
in a single instance, used it in my own family. I have 
had reason to confirm the high character which the 
American plant has long maintained." 

But, reader, whether you may prefer the imported or 
the American senna, which I consider equal in their 
medicinal powers, the following remarks are applicable 
to both, or to either of them. 

The senna is a valuable purge, and when good, is 
active in its operation, and at the same time quite in- 
nocent. Senna is seldom given by itself, but is always 
mixed with manna — a description of which will imme- 
ately follow this plant. When you inquire for senna as 
a medicine at a doctor's shop, always ask for a dose of 
senna and manna, because these two medicines are 
always given together. Sometimes a little salts is mix- 
ed with the senna and manna, especially if you wish to 
make the operation sure and active. In fevers, first 
giving a good dose of calomel, follow it up with the 
senna, manna, and salts: senna has but one fault; it is 
apt to gripe during the operation: this can always be 
prevented, however, by adding a little ginger. But, I 
believe, from an extensive experience, that after calomel 
to remove bile, if the folllowing mixture be made up 
and given, it is superior and more innocent than any 
medicine now known as a purge: — Take of senna and 
manna, each half an ounce ; of ginger, one drachm ; 
of salts one ounce — pour on these medicines a pint of 
boiling water; cover over the vessel in which you 
make this tea, so as to prevent the steam from esca- 
ping. This tea is to stand until it becomes cool. You 
are to give of it to grown persons, one gill every hour 
or two, until it operates freely. According to the age 



GUMPS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 559 

of the person, you arc to give this tea in smaller doses, 
and as it is quite innocent, it may be given to children 
occasionally in small doses until the desired effect is 
produced— which is a free operation as a purge. If 
you wish it to act as a very mild and gentle purge, you 
may leave out the salts. I repeat, in order that you 
may remember it, that whenever the bowels are ob- 
structed, or whenever you require an active and search- 
ing purge, senna, manna, and salts, in the proportions 
I have just mentioned, adding thereto a little ginger, 
are superior to any means of operating on the bowels 
now in use. 



MANNA. 

The word manna, means a gift; it comes from the 
Syrian word mano, being the food supplied by the 
Almighty to the children of Israel in the wilderness: 
or it comes from the word mahna, what is it? an ex- 
clamation used by the Israelites on its appearance — so 
say the best authorities. 

The manna, or medicine so called, and that which 
is mostly used by physicians, comes from Naples on the 
Mediterranean sea. The best manna is in long flakes, 
moderately dry, brittle and crumbling, of a pale yellow- 
ish color, and considerably transparent; in other words 
you can partially see through it. If it is moist, very 
sticky, and dark colored, it is considered of an inferior 
quality, although not less purgative. The manna is 
principally collected in Calabria, Apulia, and Sicily, in 
the warmest season of the year, from the middle of 
June to the end of Jul}. Various trees afford it: par- 
ticularly a kind of ash, called manna ash. It flows 



560 GUNN*S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

from the trunk of the tree when tapped, similar to the 
juice or sap of our sugar tree when used in the same 
manner. The liquor first flows from the tree like a 
white froth, extremely light and of an agreeable taste. 
The heat of the sun, in a few days, hardens it to tlie 
consistence we find it. Manna has something the taste 
of sugar, and is sickish and searching on the tongue. 
Its great resemblance to sugar, both in appearance and 
taste, induces children readily to eat it — in its effects, it 
acts on them as a mild purge. Manna is, however, a 
very feeble purgative medicine, requiring large doses 
for a grown person, say an ounce or two: for this rea- 
son, as I have before told you, and so directed, it must 
always be mixed with senna and salts. It ought never 
to be given alone, except to small children, as a mild 
and opening medicine. See table of doses. 



WHITE WALNUT. 

During our revolutionary war, when medicines be- 
came scarce, the physicians of the army, employed 
the inner bark of the white walnut, as a purge. In 
the dose of from ten to twenty grains, it operated well, 
by evacuating the bowels thoroughly, and was much 
resorted to by them as a purgative, in all bilious cases 
of fever. By the addition of eight or ten grains of 
calomel, the efficacy of the white walnut may be great- 
ly and beneficially increased. As I have stated to 
you, the medicinal virtues of this bark are confined to 
the inner bark ; and the proper time for getting it in the 
full possession of its virtues, is about the month of 
June, because the bark is at this time considerably 
more powerful than at other periods. 



CITNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 561 

I have used the white walnut in my practice, and 
always found it among the best purgative medicines pos- 
sessed in the Western country, and have very often 
been surprised that the article is not kept in the family 
of every farmer in the country. The manner of ex- 
tracting the virtues of this bark, is very simple: — It 
is merely to be boiled in water several hours, then 
strained and boiled again, until it becomes about as 
thick as honey. Two, three, or four pills which it can 
be made into with a little flour, make a dose of this 
extract. One or two of these pills, taken at bed time, 
is a valuable remedy in the removal of costive habits 
of body, which occasion head-aches, colics, &c. &c. 
By increasing the dose, these pills are good in dysente- 
ries and bilious fevers, and will be doubly beneficial, if 
combined or mixed with a little calomel. 



RHUBARB. 

Rhubarb, properly so called, is the root of a plant 
designated by the learned, rheum palmatum. It is a 
native of various countries of Europe and Asia, and 
might be cultivated with perfect ease perhaps, in every 
part of the United States. Attempts have been suc- 
cessfully made to introduce the culture of this valuable 
drug into England: and it appears from authentic 
accounts, not only that immense quantities of it may be 
produced there, but that the English root is fully equal 
to the best rhubarb obtained from Turkey or China. 
The greatest difficulty seems to be in drying it proper- 
ly. Its cultivation is by no means difficult; it is merely 
to sow the seed in a light soil in the spring: to trans- 
plant the smaller roots the next spring, into a light soil, 

71 



562 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

well trenched, and set them about three or four feet 
apart. The third year, the plants will produce the 
flowers; but the roots are not to be raised for use until 
the fall of the sixth year. This is the whole process 
of rearing the rhubarb: a process which I am convin- 
ced every American farmer is fully equal to. 

The cultivation of this valuable medicine in the 
United States, ought to be considered an object of high 
individual and national importance. That our climate 
throughout the different States, particularly the Western 
States, is fully equal to its production, there can be no 
doubt, as it has been fully ascertained by actual exper- 
iment. 

That it will grow in Tennessee, I well know ; be- 
cause it is now flourishing in abundance in the garden 
of Mr. Woods, fifteen miles from Knoxville. The 
root was originally purchased by Mrs. Woods, from 
some drug store in Knoxville, and planted for the pur- 
pose of an experiment, which has perfectly succeeded, 
I mention this fact in order to prove conclusively, with 
how much ease we might become independent of for- 
eign countries for thousands of medical drugs which 
are annually draining our country of immense sums of 
money. Such experiments as that made by Mrs. 
Woods, ought to be made by every person who has 
opportunity and leisure: They are duties the American 
people owe both to themselves and their country. 

There are three varieties of rhubarb found in the drug 
shops; the Russian, the Turkish, and the East Indian 
rhubarb; the two first, the Russian and Turkish, re- 
semble each other in qualities and appearance, whilst 
the East Indian is of a somewhat different character. 
The best Russian and Turkey rhubarb, is in roundish 
pieces, with a large hole in the middle of them. The 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 563 

East Indian or Chinese rhubarb, comes to this country 
in long flattish pieces, seldom if ever, having holes in 
them. The Turkish rhubarb is the best, and is gener- 
ally used in this country. 

The marks of rhubarb being of a good quality are, 
the liveliness of its color, when cut; its being firm and 
solid, but not flinty or hard ; its being easily pulverable, 
which means reducible to powder; and its appearing 
when powdered, of a fine high yellow color; and when 
chewed, by its imparting, to the spittle and tongue a 
deep saffron color. 

Rhubarb is one of the mildest, best, and pleasantest 
purgatives now in use in this or any other country; 
because with its purgative powers, it is also astringent 
and strengthening, and in this, it certainly differs from 
almost every other purgative of the same class known 
in medicine. It is superior to nearly all other purges 
for another reason ; it may be taken with opium, and 
act on the bowels as well as if taken without it. This 
is a vast advantage; because where purging would be 
connected with great pain, its being combined with 
opium, relieves the pain, while the rhubarb is left free 
to do its duty. The operation of rhubarb is slower 
and milder than any other purges ; but it is very cer- 
tain in its effects, when given in proper doses. It may 
always be given with innocence and safety, in all cases 
of extreme weakness, where a purge to open the bow- 
els becomes necessary, and where violent and severe 
purging would be highly improper. You will find this 
medicine very valuable and safe, as it always acts with 
much gentleness in relieving the bowels. It is a com- 
mon and proper purge for children, even at a very early 
period of life, and in every situation where their bowels 
become disordered; particularly in dysentery or lax; 



564 GUNIPS DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

because it leaves the bowels in a favorable state, after 
% removing the offensive matter from them. It is also an 
excellent purge for grown persons, laboring under this 
complaint. In small doses, say from two to six grains, 
it is excellent for the stomach when laboring under 
indigestion, generally called dyspepsia; and must be 
given in such small doses as not to purge, but to act as 
a tonic, or strengthening medicine. 

There are various ways of giving rhubarb ; such as 
giving it in tincture, which means steeping it in any 
kind of spirits: but the best and most certain method 
of giving this medicine, and obtaining the virtues of it 
fully, is to give it in fine powder. A dose for a grown 
person is, from about a scruple, or twenty grains, to 
half a drachm, mixed with honey, molasses, or any 
kind of syrup. The root chewed as tobacco, swallow- 
ing the saliva, or spittle, is an innocent and efficient 
way of taking it, for keeping the bowels gently open, 
particularly with those persons who are subject to 
habitual costiveness, indigestion, and those long trains 
of nervous diseases which afflict men and women who 
are subject to derangements of their systems from cos- 
tiveness. In such cases, if they will chew the root of 
the rhubarb, it will act as a moderate purge, and gently 
open the bowels; at the same time, it will act as a 
tonic, or strengthening medicine to the stomach, by 
which they will always obtain relief. 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 565 

INDIAN PHYSIC. 
This plant is a native of the United States; and as 
its name imports, was a great favorite among the Indian 
nations. It is almost every where found in the western 
country, inhabiting shady woods, and the rich sides of 
hills and mountains, from the lakes of Canada to the 
Floridas. The number of stems proceeding from the 
root of this plant varies considerably; sometimes there 
is but a single one, and occasional there are many. 
The stems arc branched above, say about two or three 
feet from the ground ; they are round, and commonly 
of a reddish color. The leaves are of a deep green, 
long and pointed, and the flower nearly white. The 
root of this plant, which is all that is used in medicine, 
is perennial: that is to say, it is not destroyed by the 
frosts of winter. It is composed of several long, brown 
slender shoots, which run out from the bottom of the 
stem, to some distance under the ground. This root 
possesses many of the virtues of the ipecacuanha, and 
is much used by the country people, as an emetic or 
puke. Given in the dose of thirty or thirty-five grains 
in the powder, for a grown person, it is an easy, safe, 
and certain emetic ; and if you give it in what are 
called broken doses, of six or seven grains about every 
two hours, it will act as a sudorific; in other words, it 
will produce sweating. If you give it in infusion, or 
weak tea, a handful to a pint of boiling water, of which 
you may take a small tea-cupful every fifteen or twenty 
minutes, it will produce vomiting. The active power 
of this root, seems to reside exclusively in its bark, 
which, in addition to its emetic qualities, probably pos- 
sesses considerable tonic powers. 



566 GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 

AMERICAN IPECACUANHA. 

Tins singular, and very useful plant, is exclusively a 
native of the United States, and may be found in great 
plenty in the middle, southern, and western states. It 
nearly always grows in loose, moist, and sandy soils, 
and is very often found nourishing in beds of almost 
pure sand. The leaves of this plant vary so much in 
shape and color — and in fact, the whole plant itself 
varies so much in its different states, that it is often mis- 
taken by those unacquainted with its habits, for several 
distinct species of plants. The stems are numerous; 
they are nearly white below the surface of the earth or 
sand, and of a reddish color, or a pale green or yellow- 
ish hue above it. The leaves are opposite to each 
other, and generally of an oval form ; I say generally, 
because they are sometimes of a long oval, sometimes 
pointed, and unfrequently, linear. In the month of 
May, while the plant is in flower, the leaves are very 
small ; but as it advances in age, they become greatly 
increased in size. The seeds of the flower are only 
three in number, enclosed in a triangular, or three 
square capsule, or case. I mention these things par- 
ticularly, because they afford the best possible means 
of knowing the plant. The root is perennial ; in other 
words, it is not killed by the frosts of winter. It is 
from three to seven feet in height, and from half an 
inch to an inch and a half in diameter, or across, and 
of a yellowish color ; sending off towards its upper 
part, many smaller roots, about the size of small quills. 

I believe, and am sustained in the opinion by sever- 
al high authorities, that the American ipecacuanha, the 
plant just described to you, is superior in its medicinal 
properties to any other species known. The root of 
this plant alone is to be used ; if the stems and leaves 



GUNN'S DOMESTIC MEDICINE. 567 

possess any medicinal virtues, they are yet to be dis- 
covered by experiment. It is a powerful emetic, both 
safe and certain in its operation, and is applicable to 
nearly all cases in which emetics are required. In 
smal